State legislators get down to work on more than 2,000 bills

The 129th Maine State Legislature is now fully underway and members will begin taking up the 2,041 bills that have been submitted this year.  They are also eagerly awaiting Governor Mills' first Biennial Budget that will be submitted by February 8th
MHCA is already reviewing bill titles and will conduct more in depth analysis when the full texts become available in the next few weeks.  This year, the Association has again partnered with individual legislators to draft language for specific bills that will support the long term care system.  We have been pleased to work with a diverse group that includes Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook), Senate Majority Leader Nate Libby (D-Androscoggin), and Assistant Senate Minority Leader Jeff Timberlake (R-Androscoggin).  Other legislators who have stepped up on our issues include Senator Eloise Vitelli (D-Sagadahoc), Representative Anne Perry (D-Calais) and Representative Jay McCreight (D-Brunswick).
There will be an emphasis again on the wage pressure LTC providers face, including full funding and enhancement of initiatives that were supported by both parties last session.  Issues being addressed this session also include the recognition of MaineCare bad debt, reinstitution of bed banking for nursing homes, provision of bed hold payments to Adult Family Care Homes, and the elimination of the PNMI tax.  There are also several additional regulatory and reimbursement reforms included in legislation.  We will be sharing details on these in the coming weeks as language becomes finalized. 
Staff Contact:
Rick Erb
President and CEO