Legislative committee actions of interest

The Maine State Legislative Session is moving ahead with the processing of bills, often through Zoom committee hearings.  Some recent votes by the Health and Human services Committee and others include:

LD 1139, An Act to Authorize and Regulate Visitation of Essential Caregivers at Long Term Care Facilities.  This bill, which MHCA opposed, would limit facilities' authority to restrict visitors during outbreaks.  It originally came out of the HHS Committee with a unanimous “Ought Not to Pass” vote.  However, the sponsor requested reconsideration.  This still generated a negative recommendation, but the final vote was split along party lines, with Republicans supporting and Democrats opposing.  The bill will now be subject to floor debate in the House and Senate before a final vote is taken.

LD 1148, Resolve, To Increase Broadband Access in Private Nonmedical Institutions.  MHCA supported the concept of improving broadband access for residents, but we and others were concerned that the bill could create an unfunded mandate for providers.  Ultimately, the HHS Committee unanimously voted “Ought Not to Pass” but will send a letter of support for efforts to expand broadband coverage. 

LD 476, An Act to Provide Licensed Assisted Living and Nursing Facility Levels of Care for Incarcerated Persons.  This bill was taken up by the Criminal Justice Committee.  Although the Committee and others (including MHCA) believe that the issues of an aging inmate population need to be addressed, it was concluded that LD 476 was not the best vehicle to do so.  The Committee voted unanimously “Ought Not to Pass.”

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