Nursing Focused Bills

LD 119 An Act To Increase Faculty in Nursing Education Programs by Amending the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program. Sponsor Rep. Michele Meyer

SUMMARY
This bill amends the nursing education loan repayment program as follows.
1. It extends eligibility to apply to individuals who are currently enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs.
2. It specifies that applicants must indicate an intention to work as full-time nursing faculty in a nursing education program in the State and increases that required commitment from 3 years to 5 years after acceptance into the nursing education loan repayment program.
3. It increases the maximum amount of loans eligible for repayment under the program from $4,500 to $30,000 for a master’s degree and from $6,000 to $60,000 for a doctoral degree.

Status – Public hearing 2/9/2021. The committee held two work sessions on the bill and passed a unanimous amendment to allocate $1million in one-time funding and lower the loan cap to $20,000 for a MSN degree and $40,000 for a doctoral degree. The amended version passed in the House and Senate. Working to include in the Governor’s supplemental budget, otherwise will need funding from the Appropriations Table.

LD 295 An Act To Repeal Restrictions That Prohibit Certain Advanced Practice Registered Nurses from Providing Essential Health Care Services. Sponsor Rep. Anne Perry

Summary – This bill eliminates a provision in law requiring that a certified nurse practitioner who qualifies as an advanced practice registered nurse must practice, for at least 24 months, under the supervision of a physician or supervising nurse practitioner or be employed by a clinic or hospital that has a medical director who is a licensed physician. The bill also removes a requirement that a certified nurse practitioner must complete 24 months of supervised practice to be a supervising nurse practitioner.

Status – Public Hearing 2/18/21, the committee held 3 work sessions and ultimately had a three-way divided vote – support, amend and oppose. Rather than have a floor fight on the bill Rep. Anne Perry asked the committee to vote not to pass which they did.

LD 1095 An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Purchase 4 Nursing Simulators for Use by the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System

The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $3,200,000, will be used to provide funding for the University of Maine System to purchase 4 nursing simulators, to be shared with the Maine Community College System

Status: Public hearing held on April 22nd.

LD 1327 An Act To Create the Maine Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Program

This bill creates a new loan repayment program, administered by the Finance Authority of Maine, for health care providers who agree to live and work in the State for a minimum of 5 years. Under the program, the authority will pay up to $30,000 per year and the lesser of $150,000 in aggregate and 50% of the recipient’s outstanding loan balance

Status: The committee voted out a divided report on May 6th.

Professional Licensure Bills

LD 374 An Act To Allow Veterans, Active Duty Service Members and Their Spouses To Apply for Temporary Occupational Licenses and Certifications

This bill allows veterans or active duty members of the United States Armed Forces or spouses of veterans or active duty members of the United Stated Armed Forces who hold occupational or professional licenses or certifications issued by other states or territories of United States to obtain a temporary license while completing any requirements for licensure or certification in Maine by an occupational or professional licensing board.

Status – The committee voted to pass an amended version of the bill on May 12th . The amendment requires the license held in another jurisdiction be in good standing.

LD 612 An Act To Recognize Occupational Licenses and Certifications from Other States To Attract New Residents and Businesses to Maine

This bill creates a framework for the various government agencies, boards, departments and other governmental entities that regulate and issue licenses within the State to offer a path to certification or licensure in Maine to persons who hold occupational credentials from other states in order to allow those persons to more quickly qualify to work within their occupations or professions in Maine.

Status – Public Hearing March 16th. On April 8th the committee voted 9-3 to oppose the bill.

LD 149 An Act To Facilitate Licensure for Credentialed Individuals from Other Jurisdictions. Sponsor Rep. Cloutier

Summary – This bill implements some of the recommendations of Resolve 2019, chapter 79 directing the Commissioner of Professional and Financial Regulation to form a working group to assess barriers to professional licensure for skilled individuals with foreign credentials and licensees of other states who apply for Maine licensure.
It allows the Director of the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation within the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation to exercise discretionary authority, after consultation with licensing entities, to waive documentation requirements for licensure submitted by applicants educated in or with relevant experience or licensure in other jurisdictions, including other states, United States territories, foreign nations and foreign administrative divisions, as long as the waiver does not reduce the requisite standards of proficiency for the licensed profession or occupation.

Status – Public Hearing held in March, on April 8th the committee voted 9-3 in support of the bill.

Vaccine Requirement Bills
The Education Committee voted majority ought not to pass on the following bills:

LD 96 An Act To Create Fairness in the Treatment of Students by Retaining Students with Certain Vaccine Exemptions. Sponsor Rep. Faulkingham

LD 156 An Act To Promote School Attendance by Exempting Virtual Public Charter School and Private School Students from Immunization Requirements

LD 833 An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Vaccines by Reinstating Religious Exemptions

LD 1082 An Act To Improve Educational Opportunities by Exempting Children Who Attend Virtual Public Charter Schools from Immunization Requirements and Expanding Enrollment at Virtual Public Charter Schools

Other Bills

LD 1262 Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Develop a Comprehensive Statewide Strategic Plan To Serve Maine People with Behavioral Health Needs throughout Their Lifespans
This resolve directs the Department of Health and Human Services, including the department’s Office of Child and Family Services, office of behavioral health and office of aging and disability services and a variety of other interested parties and stakeholders, to develop a vision and comprehensive statewide strategic plan to serve people in the State with behavioral health needs throughout their lifespans.

Status: On May 6th the committee voted to pass the bill.