Representative Susan Austin [Republican]
Gray ~ District 67
Towns in District: part of Frye Island, part of Casco, part of Gray and part of RaymondWould be term limited: 2024
♦ Engrossed Bills (Ranking Republican)
♦ Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Commerce
♦ Labor and Housing
✉ 136 Yarmouth Road
Gray, Maine 04039
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|Maine People's Alliance, Will of the Voters||0%|
|Maine People's Alliance, 2018||0%|
|Maine Conservation Voters, 2018||3 of 8, 1 Unexcused absences|
|Maine Conservation Voters, 2017||3 of 7, 1 Unexcused absences|
|Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund, 2017||25%|
The graphs below are frequency histograms that show counts of the number of legislators with various scores, color coded by party. The "X" marks this legislator's score in that distribution of scores.
See "Explanations, Legislative scorecards" for the votes included on scorecards and links to sources.
|LD 1296||An Act To Clarify the Scope of Practice of Certain Licensed Professionals Regarding Conversion Therapy||Status: Dead, Referred to Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee, in Committee when the legislature adjourned sine die, June 20, 2019|
This bill does the following.
|LD 50||An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Government Oversight Committee To Improve the Development of a Long-range Strategic Plan for Economic Improvement in the State||Status: Referred to Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business Committee, Dead, Joint rule 310.3, June 6, 2019|
This bill provides additional clarity, requirements and resources for the Maine Economic Growth Council's efforts to fulfill its current statutory mandate to develop, monitor and maintain a long-range strategic economic improvement plan for the State. It also includes provisions to support the State's achievement of the goals and objectives in that plan by establishing requirements for the Governor, Legislature and agencies with relevant programs and activities to consider the long-range strategic economic improvement plan and provide information to the Maine Economic Growth Council at the request of the council.
|LD 139||An Act To Address the Unmet Workforce Needs of Employers and To Improve the Economic Future of Workers||Status: Referred to Labor and Housing Committee, Amended by Committee amendment H-82, Enacted, Signed into law April 30, 2019|
This bill makes a number of changes to the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program administered by the Department of Labor, including the following.
This bill also amends the laws governing the employment of minors 16 and 17 years of age, providing that such a minor may be employed in an otherwise hazardous occupation for which the minor has been trained or certified from a vocational, career and technical or cooperative education program approved by the Department of Education only if the minor has graduated from the program and has graduated from high school.
LD 139 Chaptered Law
LD 139 Chaptered Law fiscal note
|LD 435||An Act To Provide for the 2019 and 2020 Allocations of the State Ceiling on Private Activity Bonds (Emergency)||Status: Referred to Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business Committee, Amended by Committee amendment S-8, Enacted as an emergency measure, Signed into law April 5, 2019|
This bill establishes the allocations of the state ceiling on issuance of tax-exempt private activity bonds for calendar years 2019 and 2020 among the state-level issuers of tax-exempt bonds.
This amendment incorporates a fiscal note.
LD 435 Chaptered Law
LD 435 Chaptered Law fiscal note
|LD 470||An Act To Provide Traffic Safety Education in Schools||Status: Referred to Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, Enacted in the House as amended by Committee amendment H-83, tabled to Special Appropriations in the Senate April 30, 2019, carried over to any regular or special session per Joint Order HP 1322|
The purpose of this bill is to provide students in Maine with traffic safety education from an early age with the goal of teaching students safe practices and respect for all users of the road in order to reduce the unacceptable number of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and make Maine's roadways safer and more enjoyable for all users.
This bill requires all school administrative units to provide at least one hour annually of age-appropriate traffic safety education to students in grades 2 to 12. The traffic safety education program must provide, at a minimum, instruction on the use of public and private ways by pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicle operators and on the laws and rules regarding that use. A school administrative unit may contract with a 3rd party to provide the traffic safety education.
|LD 607||An Act To Provide Equitable Taxation for the Food and Beverage Industry||Status: Referred to Taxation Committee, Enacted in the House as amended by Committee amendment S-280, tabled to Special Appropriations in the Senate June 14, 2019, carried over to any regular or special session per Joint Order HP 1322|
This bill allows a deduction from Maine individual and corporate taxable income for the federal tax credit allowed to an employer for the employer's share of federal social security taxes paid on the portion of an employee's tips that cause the employee's wages to exceed $5.15 per hour. Under federal tax law, the credit amount must be subtracted from the taxpayer's otherwise deductible expenses, which increases federal taxable income. Under current Maine law, when an employer takes the credit available under the federal Internal Revenue Code, the employer receives neither a Maine credit nor a return of the federal disallowed deduction for Maine taxable income purposes; such a deduction is allowed from Maine taxable income for the work opportunity credit and empowerment zone employment credit. This bill makes Maine's treatment consistent across the 3 federal credits.
This amendment provides the correct references to the federal credit that causes the need for the deductions authorized by the bill and specifies that the deductions apply beginning with the 2019 tax year.
LD 607 Amendment S-280 fiscal note
|LD 665||Resolve, Directing the Office of the Attorney General To Review Free Speech on Public College and University Campuses||Status: Referred to Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, Enacted in the House as amended by Committee amendment H-395, tabled to Special Appropriations in the Senate June 6, 2019, carried over to any regular or special session per Joint Order HP 1322|
This bill authorizes a person who wishes to engage in an expressive activity, as defined in the bill, in an outdoor area of campus of a public institution of higher education to do so freely as long as the person's conduct is lawful and does not materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of the public institution of higher education. It prohibits a public institution of higher education from designating an area of campus as a free speech zone or otherwise creating policies restricting expressive activities to a particular outdoor area of campus, except that it allows public institutions of higher education to create and enforce restrictions on time, place and manner of expression that are reasonable and content-neutral. The Attorney General has the authority to enforce compliance, and a person whose rights are violated may bring an action to enjoin violations and to recover compensatory damages, reasonable court costs and attorney's fees.
This amendment, which is the majority report of the committee, directs the Office of the Attorney General to review whether there have been any instances in the State in which the University of Maine System, Maine Community College System or Maine Maritime Academy has violated or otherwise restricted a student's free speech rights protected under the United States Constitution, Amendment I and the Constitution of Maine, Article I, review whether additional protections are necessary under state law and report to the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary no later than January 1, 2020. The Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary may report out a bill to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature. The amendment also adds an appropriations and allocations section.
LD 665 fiscal note
LD 665 Amendment H-395 fiscal note
|LD 724||An Act To Amend the Maine Background Check Center Act To Provide Employers Flexibility To Use Approved Alternate Vendors (Emergency)||Status: Referred to Health and Human Services Committee, Dead, Joint rule 310.3, May 21, 2019|
This bill allows an employer seeking to conduct a comprehensive background check for a direct access worker under the Maine Background Check Center Act to apply for and obtain at any time from the Department of Health and Human Services approval to use an approved alternate vendor instead of the Background Check Center as long as all other laws and rules pertaining to the use of alternate vendors are complied with in order for the employer to obtain approval.
|LD 873||An Act To Clarify the Application of the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax to Water Well Drilling Equipment||Status: Referred to Taxation Committee, Amended by Committee amendment H-442, Enacted, Signed into law June 20, 2019|
This bill sets the annual personal property tax on equipment for water well drilling owned by a licensed well driller at $2,500 for tax years beginning January 1, 2020 and thereafter.
This amendment provides that water well drilling equipment attached to a self-propelled vehicle is not considered part of the motor vehicle for purposes of the motor vehicle excise tax.
LD 873 Chaptered Law
LD 873 Chaptered Law fiscal note
|LD 911||An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Promote Land Conservation, Working Waterfronts, Water Access and Outdoor Recreation||Status: Referred to Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, carried over to any regular or special session per Joint Order HP 1322|
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $95,000,000, will be used to provide funds for the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Bureau of Parks and Lands and the Land for Maine's Future Board.
|LD 948||An Act To Restrict Ordinances That Affect the Posting of Property for Municipal and Private Land||Status: Referred to State and Local Government Committee, Dead, Joint rule 310.3, March 26, 2019|
This bill provides that a municipality or political subdivision of the State may not enact an ordinance, law or rule regulating the posting of property by marking with signs or paint that is different from the provisions in state law regulating the posting of property by marking with signs or paint.
|LD 1051||An Act To Create the Maine Family First Employer Program||Status: Referred to Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business Committee, Work session held, April 30, 2019, carried over to any regular or special session per Joint Order HP 1322|
This bill creates the Maine Family First Employer Program under the Department of Labor to award employers that create family-friendly workplaces by providing, for all full-time employees, advancement and leadership opportunities; the same pay rates for similar work; stipends or assistance for child care; paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child and medical care for employees or family members of employees; flexible work accommodations for other family obligations; and health insurance and retirement plan options. The awards are presented by the Governor and come with a logo that a designated employer may use for promotional purposes.
|LD 1055||An Act To Reduce Fraud in the Redemption of Beverage Containers||Status: Referred to Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Dead, Joint rule 310.3, May 21, 2019|
This bill amends the State's bottle redemption laws to authorize initiators of deposit subject to a commingling agreement to include in the agreement authorization to conduct audits of beverage containers presented by a dealer or local redemption center for pickup or payment of refund value and to take certain actions against the dealer or local redemption center in the case of a failed audit. The bill also provides for a grievance process whereby a dealer or local redemption center may file a grievance with the Department of Environmental Protection to challenge an action taken by an initiator of deposit in the case of a failed audit.
|LD 1056||An Act To Update and Amend the Finance Authority of Maine Act||Status: Referred to Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business Committee, Amended by Committee amendment H-224, Enacted, Signed into law May 28, 2019|
This bill amends the Finance Authority of Maine Act by removing various references to bond financing for major business expansion projects and eliminating that financing. It also reallocates the bonding authority for securing the Finance Authority of Maine's capital reserve funds supporting other programs. It also removes definitions pertaining to the Clean Fuel Vehicle Fund, which was repealed in 2013.
This amendment increases the maximum amount of insurance the Finance Authority of Maine may provide to related entities from $7,000,000 to $7,500,000.
LD 1056 Chaptered Law
LD 1056 Chaptered Law fiscal note
|LD 1077||An Act To Ensure Fair Employment Opportunity for Maine Citizens and Legal Residents by Requiring the Use of the Federal Immigration Verification System||Status: Referred to Labor and Housing Committee, Dead, Concurrence in Ought Not to Pass, April 16, 2019|
This bill requires an employer to register with and use the federal immigration verification system, currently known as the E-Verify program, to determine the work eligibility status of new employees physically performing services within the State.
|LD 1232||An Act To Ensure the Right To Work without Payment of Dues or Fees to a Labor Union as a Condition of Employment||Status: Referred to Labor and Housing Committee, Dead, Concurrence in Ought Not to Pass, May 23, 2019|
This bill prohibits a person, either in the public or private sector, from being required to join a labor organization or pay any labor organization dues or fees as a condition of employment or continuation of employment, notwithstanding any state law to the contrary. A violation is a Class D crime and is also subject to civil damages and injunctive relief. The Attorney General is responsible for enforcement and is required to prosecute all violations.
|LD 1292||An Act To Lower Maine's Individual Income Tax||Status: Referred to Taxation Committee, Dead, Concurrence in Ought Not to Pass, June 3, 2019|
This bill decreases over 3 years the rate of taxation imposed on individual income by:
This bill also changes cross-references in the Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents and inflation adjustment statutes.
|LD 1400||An Act To Improve Recruitment and Retention in State Law Enforcement by Offering Retirement Service Credit||Status: Referred to Labor and Housing Committee, Amended by Committee amendment H-495, Enacted, Signed into law June 21, 2019|
This bill allows a member of the State Employee and Teacher Retirement Program or the Participating Local District Retirement Program to purchase up to 4 years of service credit for time served as a full-time law enforcement officer prior to membership.
It also allows a member of either program who served as a full-time active duty member of the United States Armed Forces during the Cold War, measured from January 1, 1947 to December 27, 1991, before becoming a member and who separated from the armed forces under conditions other than dishonorable to purchase service credit. This service credit is capped at 4 years for members of the State Employee and Teacher Retirement Program and 5 years for members of the Participating Local District Retirement Program.
|LD 1438||An Act To Clarify the Intent of Referendum Questions for Voters||Status: Referred to Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, Dead, Joint rule 310.3, May 14, 2019|
This bill requires the Secretary of State, with the assistance of the Attorney General and the Revisor of Statutes, to prepare a summary of each referendum question that explains the referendum question to the voter and to place this summary on the ballot after the corresponding referendum question. This summary may not exceed 250 words, except that additional words may be used if the Secretary of State considers it necessary and space on the ballot permits.
|LD 1502||An Act To Expand Access to the Workforce through Apprenticeships||Status: Referred to Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business Committee, Dead, Joint rule 310.3, May 14, 2019|
This bill establishes an alternative path to licensure through apprenticeship for certain professions. The bill requires that, beginning January 1, 2020, the appropriate licensing authority grant to a person that has successfully completed 8th grade, passed any required examinations and completed an approved apprenticeship a license to practice as:
|LD 1519||An Act Concerning the Establishment of Benefit Corporations||Status: Referred to Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business Committee, Enacted, Signed into law June 17, 2019|
This bill creates a statutory framework that allows a corporation to elect to become a benefit corporation by explicitly stating in its articles of incorporation that it has a purpose of creating general public benefit and allows such a corporation to state in its articles of incorporation one or more specific public benefit purposes, which are other than maximizing shareholder value. "General public benefit" means a material positive impact on society and the environment, taken as a whole, assessed against a 3rd-party standard, from the business and operations of the benefit corporation. A specific public benefit can be providing goods and services to underserved individuals and communities, the promotion of economic opportunities, protecting the environment, improving human health or other particular benefits to society or the environment.
A benefit corporation may be subject to a benefit enforcement proceeding for failing to pursue or create general public benefit or a specific public benefit as set forth in its articles of incorporation, or for a violation of any obligation, duty or standard of conduct imposed.
|LD 1719||An Act To Improve Geographic Information System Data Acquisition and Maintenance||Status: Referred to Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee, Enacted in the House as amended by Committee amendment S-261, tabled to Special Appropriations in the Senate June 12, 2019, carried over to any regular or special session per Joint Order HP 1322|
This bill moves the Maine Library of Geographic Information, the Geolibrary, from the Department of Administrative and Financial Services to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and establishes the Maine Library of Geographic Information Board in the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to administer the Geolibrary. This bill adds a Geolibrarian and a GIS information officer, appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, to the staff of the Maine Library of Geographic Information, to collect, perserve and disseminate data, manage funds and direct the Geolibrary's activities. The bill repeals language allowing the administrator of the Office of Geographic Information Systems to enter into agreements with other agencies and to accept funds from public and private organizations, repeals language describing licensing agreement and fee requirements for geographic information system data and repeals language allowing the Maine Library of Geographic Information Board to hear and resolve disputes related to geographic information system data.
This amendment makes changes to the composition of the Maine Library of Geographic Information Board. The amendment adds an appropriations and allocations section.
LD 1719 Amendment S-261 fiscal note