The State House has been very busy with committees meeting and decisions about what bills will be considered next session.
During even-numbered years, the Legislature generally limits bill submissions to those that address emergencies and other pressing situations. The Maine Legislative Council, which is made up of each party’s leaders in the Maine House and Senate, decides which bills fit the criteria.
Of the nearly 400 bills submitted for the 2016 legislative session, fewer than a quarter received the green light from the Council. The results from the Legislative Council’s decisions are now posted on its webpage.
The initial bills that were let in can be found here and the bills that were allowed in after legislators had a chance to appeal can be found here.
There were also over 170 bills carried-over from last session. These bills will be discussed in committee next year. You can find the full list here.
I hope everyone has an enjoyable holiday season. As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns about state government. Your input allows me to do the best job of representing you.
A Good Start for my Student Loan Bill
I’m happy to report that my student loan tax credit bill was among those very few that made the cut for the upcoming session.
In Maine some student loans are eligible for a special tax credit, while others – typically loans used to pay for out-of-state education – aren’t. We used to have a problem where graduates would consolidate both eligible and ineligible loans together and end up losing the entire tax credit.
We’ve already fixed that problem for the 2016 tax year, but my bill would also fix it for the 2015 tax year, so grads can start benefiting right away. Any steps we can take to make college more affordable and reduce student debt are worth taking.
The next step for the bill is a public hearing before the Taxation Committee in early 2016. I will keep you posted on its progress throughout the session.