About Joint Standing Committees
The following is a brief description of the subject matter handled by each joint standing committee established by the Joint Rules of the 129th Legislature. It is based on direction from the Presiding Officers, as well as, bills referred to committees during the 128th Legislature. The number, names and subject matter of committees can change from Legislature to Legislature.
These descriptions should not be taken as definitive and may not describe committees established by subsequent Legislatures or necessarily predict the referencing of bills.
Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; agricultural development; agricultural fairs, products and marketing; animal control and welfare; harness racing; food policy; food safety, inspection and labeling; dairy industry; pest management and pesticides regulation; industrial hemp; state parks, historic sites, public lands and submerged lands; Maine Land Use Planning Commission; geological surveying and mapping; Maine Forest Service; timber harvesting; industrial hemp; the Land for Maine’s Future Program; and Baxter State Park.
Appropriations and Financial Affairs. General Fund appropriations and general fiscal policy; federal funds allocations, special revenue and block grant allocations when part of a biennial or supplemental budget; Budget Stabilization Fund; general obligation bond issues; collective bargaining funding; budgeting methodologies; review of financial orders; and financial evaluation of agencies of state government.
Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Maine Criminal Code; Maine Juvenile Code; Maine Bail Code; criminal law and criminal procedure; criminal history record information; domestic violence; human trafficking; sex trafficking; sentencing; Criminal Law Advisory Commission; Department of Public Safety; law enforcement; Criminal Justice Academy; victims’ rights; Victims Compensation Fund; Department of Corrections; adult and juvenile corrections; intensive supervision; probation and parole; county jails; community corrections; adult-use marijuana crimes; operating under the influence; operating after suspension; habitual offenders; fire safety and arson; firefighters and emergency responders; firearms; concealed handgun permits; private investigators; security guards; amusement rides; and Maine Emergency Management Agency.
Education and Cultural Affairs. Department of Education; State Board of Education; school finance, governance and administration; school budgets; school facilities; curriculum, instruction and assessment; teachers and administrators; special education and child development services; education of deaf and hard-of-hearing students; career and technical education; charter schools, alternative education, school choice and home schooling; school district reorganization; online learning; student health, nutrition and safety; truancy and dropouts; educational services at juvenile correctional facilities; adult education; Maine Education Policy Research Institute; University of Maine System; Maine Community College System; Maine Maritime Academy; postsecondary education finance and governance; Maine State Library; and cultural affairs, including Maine Arts Commission, Maine State Museum, Maine Historical Society, Maine Historic Preservation Commission, Maine Humanities Council and Maine Public, formerly known as Maine Public Broadcasting.
Energy, Utilities and Technology. Energy policy, including energy resources, wind energy development, biomass energy, hydropower, solar energy; efficiency and conservation; electric industry, including supply, transmission and distribution; natural gas industry; tele- communications industry, including telephone, Internet, broadband and cable television services; E-9-1-1; water and sewer utilities, including district charters; Public Utilities Commission; Office of the Public Advocate; Governor’s Energy Office; ConnectME Authority; and Efficiency Maine Trust.
Environment and Natural Resources. Air and water quality; natural resource protection; site location of development laws, shoreland zoning, subdivisions and growth management; management and disposal of solid, hazardous, biomedical and special wastes; returnable containers; hydropower and dams; waste-to-energy facilities; mining; wind energy development; and general environmental policy, including oversight of the Department of Environmental Protection.
Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services. Banking; financial institutions; credit unions; consumer credit; credit law (business-related); Uniform Consumer Credit Code; Bureau of Financial Institutions; Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection; mortgage lending; foreclosure prevention; servicing of student loans; debt collection practices and debt buyers; Office of Securities; stocks, mutual funds, bonds and other securities; financial services; Bureau of Insurance; credit, automobile, life, property and casualty insurance; private health insurance; health and medical data; Maine Health Data Organization; health maintenance organizations; mandated health benefits; health care reform; compliance with federal Affordable Care Act; prescription drugs; pharmacy benefit managers; cost containment; multiple employer welfare arrangements; State Employee Health Commission and state employee group health plan; long- term care insurance; disability income insurance; insurance rating, regulation and practices; insurance producers; professional and occupational licensing for health care and financial services; Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company; workers' compensation insurance; self- insurance; and viatical and life settlement contracts.
Health and Human Services. Department of Health and Human Services; MaineCare/Medicaid; children’s welfare and mental health services; child care; maternal and infant health; public health; lead and water testing; immunization; tobacco and e-cigarette sale and use; medical use of marijuana; eating, lodging and campground licensing and inspection; opioid medications and limits; state health system planning; health care facilities; health care workforce; telemedicine; oral health and dental care; substance use disorder; mental health; developmental disability; aging; elderly and disability issues; home and community-based long- term care; nursing facilities and residential care; palliative and end- of-life care; and public assistance.
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; inland fisheries and wildlife research and management; hunting; fishing; trapping; hunter safety; fish hatcheries; game wardens; guides; taxidermist licensing; ATVs; snowmobiles; watercraft registration and boater safety; and whitewater rafting.
Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business. Business regulation, including automobile and fuel sales; retail pricing; franchising; advertising; real estate practices; professional and occupational licensing; consumer protection; Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), including student assistance programs at Finance Authority of Maine; economic development; economic planning and development agencies; venture capital and trade programs; opportunity zones; import competition; product marketing; research and development; technology commercialization; technology transfers; tourism; and defense facility conversion.
Judiciary. Judicial system organization and budget; criminal procedure; civil procedure; civil actions, including torts and medical malpractice; Maine Tort Claims Act; liability; immunity; claims against the State; child protection (with Health and Human Services); Family Law Advisory Commission; family law; domestic relations; child support; adoption; legal services; Maine Indigent Legal Services Commission; attorneys; Attorney General; District Attorneys; constitutional rights; abortion regulation and reproductive rights; civil rights; involuntary commitment and treatment; medical rights; human rights and discrimination; Maine Human Rights Commission; protection from harassment; protection from abuse; guardianship and conservatorship; probate law; Probate and Trust Law Advisory Commission, Probate Code; Trust Code; foreclosure; property law; property rights; eminent domain; unclaimed property; business and nonprofit organizations; Uniform Commercial Code; laws relating to Maine’s Indian Tribes, including the Act to Implement the Maine Indian Claims Settlement; Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission; freedom of access, confidentiality and privacy laws; statutory maintenance; and errors and inconsistencies.
Labor and Housing. Department of Labor; wage and hour laws; working conditions, including health and safety; unemployment compensation; workers' compensation; labor relations; collective bargaining; private sector retirement; Workers’ Compensation Board; Maine Labor Relations Board; retirement eligibility and benefits for state and municipal employees, including teachers; judicial and legislative retirement systems; Maine Public Employees Retirement System; insulation; Maine State Housing Authority; landlord-tenant laws; affordable housing; homelessness; housing safety; building codes; public services.
Marine Resources. Department of Marine Resources; Marine Patrol; commercial and recreational marine fisheries management, licensing and enforcement; marine science and research; shellfish sanitation and management; and aquaculture.
State and Local Government. State government, including the Legislature, state property, public purchasing and contracts, state agencies and government organization, state employment, oversight of state officials, periodic review of State Government Evaluation Act; Maine State Archives; administrative procedures, boards and commissions, state holidays and designations, and capitol area planning; county government, including regional planning, budget process and county officials; municipal and local government, including deorganization and consolidation, planning and regulation, land use; discontinued and abandoned roads and cemeteries.
Taxation. Bureau of Revenue Services and State Board of Property Tax Review; state and local taxes; tax exemptions and credits; tax expenditure review; taxpayer relief programs; property valuation and assessment; tax increment financing; municipal revenue sharing; taxation of unorganized territories; and tree growth and other current use tax issues.
Transportation. Department of Transportation; Bureau of Motor Vehicles; motor vehicle registration and license plates; drivers’ licenses; driver education; Maine Turnpike Authority; Highway Fund; transportation policy; public transportation; aeronautics; highway and bridge construction and maintenance; highway safety; traffic regulation; waterways; railroads; Department of Public Safety, State Police; and motor vehicles and motor carriers.
Veterans and Legal Affairs. Alcoholic beverage laws; adult-use marijuana regulation; lottery; for profit and nonprofit gambling, including games of chance, beano and raffles; slot machines, gaming devices; harness racing and off-track betting; election laws; campaign practices; campaign financing and disclosures; the Maine Clean Election Act; voter registration; direct initiatives and people’s veto; legislative ethics; lobbyist registration and reporting; Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices; veterans’ programs; Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management Services (except the Maine Emergency Management Agency); Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations; Gambling Control Board; and Maine National Guard.