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Regulatory Reform Bill Heads to Governor for Signature

by Brenda Peluso

LD 1 is the result of the Governor’s Red Tape Review tour and the work of the specially formed Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Fairness & Reform. LD 1 is a large bill whose aim is to make Maine more business friendly, and many nonprofit businesses around the state attended hearings and submitted comments that were incorporated into the final product. Additionally, because of the efforts of a group of nonprofits, organized by the lobbyist for the Maine Community Action Association, Rick McCarthy, Part I was inserted into the bill which addresses a host of issues that arose from changes made to the Maine Uniform Accounting and Auditing Practices for Community Agencies (MAAP) by the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).

During the summer of 2010, DHHS proposed changes to MAAP. Several of the proposed changes were strongly opposed by a large number of nonprofits causing DHHS to postpone their implementation; however, in January of 2011 the new regulations went into effect virtually unchanged by any feedback received from the regulated community.

Part I of LD 1 does the following to address the MAAP concerns:

• Places the current MAAP rule changes in abeyance

• Directs DHHS to develop new rules, working with the Advisory Committee

• Makes the new rules Major and Substantive Rules making them subject to review by the Joint Standing Committee on Health & Human Services (HHS Committee)

• Schedules DHHS to submit rules to the HHS Committee in January of 2012, allowing for the new rules to be effective July 1, 2012

There are other provisions of LD 1 that could be beneficial to the nonprofit community and we will continue to analyze that impact as pieces are implemented.

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