Since our formation, FCCAM is had an active Public Policy Committee. This committee has also worked jointly with MaineAEYC on bills that impact children birth through age 8. While the Public Policy Committee works year round it is busiest when Maine’s Legislature is in session. With the convening in December of the 129th legislature (2019-2020), it’s time again to start paying attention to what is happening around committee work and the legislative bills that might impact our profession, the children in our care and their families.
FCCAM continues to encourage providers to stay informed and to reach out to their respective elected officials to make their views heard. Hearing from constituents really makes a difference.
Following are links to the pages for the committees that are usually hearing bills that involve our profession. You can find committee members and schedule of upcoming bills on each committee’s page. There is also the contact information needed if you are sending testimony to the committee. The Maine Legislature also has a main legislative homepage that provides links to most of the resources you could possibly want to understand, follow and find information on their work.
Here’s a link to the complete glossary of terms for the Maine State Legislature. Where FCCAM’s PPC is primarily concerns is with bills we watch the LR – Legislative Request Number: Assigned by the Revisor of Statutes when a request for a bill is made to track a bill until it is printed as a Legislative Document; and LD – Legislative Document: the number assigned when the bill is received by the Clerk or Secretary, printed, and distributed to the public.
With the LD number you can directly search for a bill and all available information. Let’s start with one bill FCCAM will be watching: LD 45 – An Act To Amend the Law Regarding Maine’s Background Check Center. Starting on the Legislative homepage type in the LD #:
You will be taken here. Depending on what has been happening the amount of information available will vary. The sidebar provides you with the next link you are looking for. For most searches you will click on “Bills Text and Other Docs”.
This is the page where you can access the bill in it’s written form.
From the summary LD 45 grants the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to request state and national criminal history records, including fingerprint-based criminal history records, for direct access workers undergoing a background check under the Maine Background Check Center Act. This bill could be the step needed to clarify and complete the structure for the Licensing required Background Check.
The process by which an idea becomes a law in Maine involves many steps. It is designed to prevent hasty or uninformed decisions on matters that can affect the lives of every Maine citizen. Although the process may seem confusing at first, rules and procedures clearly define the steps that apply to every bill. Understanding this process helps us follow and influence bills as they move from idea forward.
Although there are many steps from idea to the public hearing in Committee, bills can move very quickly through Committee once they are there. FCCAM will do our best to keep our members and other family child care providers throughout the state as informed as possible.