An Act To Improve the Return to the State on the Sale of Spirits and To Provide a Source of Payment for Maine's Hospitals
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, this legislation involves the operation of the liquor laws and makes changes necessary to maximize revenues for the benefit of the people of Maine; and
Whereas, the financial health of the State is in jeopardy due to the long-term amounts owed to Maine hospitals; and
Whereas, funds generated by the implementation of this legislation will be used to retire the State's overdue financial obligations to Maine hospitals; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. A-1. 28-A MRSA §2, sub-§31-A is enacted to read:
Sec. A-2. 28-A MRSA §2, sub-§31-B is enacted to read:
Sec. A-3. 28-A MRSA §83, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2003, c. 20, Pt. LLL, §1 and affected by §4, is further amended to read:
Sec. A-4. 28-A MRSA §83, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2003, c. 20, Pt. LLL, §1 and affected by §4, is further amended to read:
Sec. A-5. 28-A MRSA §83, sub-§8 is enacted to read:
Sec. A-6. 28-A MRSA §88, as enacted by PL 2003, c. 20, Pt. LLL, §2 and affected by §4, is repealed.
Sec. A-7. 28-A MRSA §89, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 380, Pt. S, §1, is repealed.
Sec. A-8. 28-A MRSA §90 is enacted to read:
§ 90. Management of spirits activities
Sec. A-9. 28-A MRSA §453, sub-§2-C, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 213, Pt. JJJJ, §2, is amended to read:
Sec. A-10. 28-A MRSA §460, sub-§2, ¶M, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 459, §1, is amended to read:
Sec. A-11. 28-A MRSA c. 21, as amended, is repealed.
Sec. B-1. 5 MRSA sub-c. 2 is enacted to read:
LIQUOR OPERATION REVENUE BONDS
§ 171. Legislative intent
It is the express legislative intent that revenue financing bonds as authorized in this subchapter are tax-exempt or taxable bonds repaid as provided in this subchapter and such bonds do not include a legal or equitable claim against tax revenues of the State, and therefore do not represent constitutional debt of or the pledge of the full faith and credit of the State.
§ 172. Definitions
As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 173. Liquor operation revenue bonds authorized
A liquor operation revenue bond or any ancillary obligation or other agreement made pursuant to this subsection may contain a recital that it is issued or executed, respectively, pursuant to this subchapter. The recital is conclusive evidence of the validity of the liquor operation revenue bond or ancillary obligation or other agreement and of the regularity of the proceedings relating to them.
§ 174. Liquor Operation Revenue Fund
Immediately upon retirement of all outstanding bonds secured by the fund, the State Controller shall withdraw any excess money in the fund and transfer it to the Maine Budget Stabilization Fund established in section 1532.
Sec. B-2. 5 MRSA §1523 is enacted to read:
§ 1523. Constitutional prohibition on use of bond proceeds
In accordance with the Constitution of Maine, Article V, Part Third, Section 5, proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by a majority of electors pursuant to Article IX, Section 14 may not be used to meet current expenditures of the State. For purposes of this section, "current expenditures" means operational costs due and payable and generated in the ordinary course of business during the term of the Legislature that authorized the bond issue.
Sec. B-3. 22-A MRSA §216 is enacted to read:
§ 216. Health Care Liability Retirement Fund
The Health Care Liability Retirement Fund, referred to in this section as "the fund," is established as a nonlapsing fund within the Department of Health and Human Services. The fund consists of proceeds from the sale of liquor operation revenue bonds pursuant to Title 5, section 173. The money in the fund must be used for the purpose of making payments to health care providers for services provided prior to December 1, 2012. When, as determined by the commissioner, there exist no outstanding amounts owed to health care providers eligible to be paid from the fund, the State Controller must transfer all amounts in the fund to the Liquor Operation Revenue Fund established in Title 5, section 174.
Sec. B-4. Maine Revised Statutes headnote enacted; revision clause. In the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, chapter 7, after the chapter headnote, the headnote "subchapter 1, duties, generally" is enacted and the Revisor of Statutes shall implement this revision when updating, publishing or republishing the statutes.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
Part A repeals the law privatizing the State's wholesale liquor business and the law requiring the Commissioner of Administrative and Financial Services to seek bids no later than June 20, 2013 for the renewal, replacement or continuation of the current contract regarding the privatization. Instead, this bill allows the commissioner to enter into an agreement for certain wholesale liquor activities. Part A also amends the criteria for obtaining a license as an agency liquor store to clarify that an applicant that was licensed in another state to sell malt liquor, wine or spirits at retail for off-premises consumption must have conducted that business without a violation of the laws governing the sale of alcoholic beverages in the state in which that applicant was licensed. Part A also repeals the provisions of law regarding wholesale liquor providers.
Part B authorizes the Treasurer of State, with the approval of the Governor, to issue liquor operation revenue bonds in an amount up to $187,000,000. Part B establishes 2 funds, the Health Care Liability Retirement Fund and the Liquor Operation Revenue Fund. The Health Care Liability Retirement Fund is funded with the revenue from the sale of the bonds and used to pay debts owed by the State for services provided by health care providers prior to December 1, 2012; anything in excess of the amount owed is transferred to the Liquor Operation Revenue Fund. The Liquor Operation Revenue Fund is funded by revenue from the management of wholesale liquor activities; such revenue will be used to pay the principal and interest of the liquor operation revenue bonds as those amounts become due. During the repayment of bonds period, any excess revenue is transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Environmental Protection for revolving loan funds for drinking water systems and wastewater treatment and to the Department of Transportation for construction of highways and bridges. Following the retirement of bonds, excess revenue is also transferred to the Maine Budget Stabilization Fund. Part B also reiterates a provision contained in the Constitution of Maine that the proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by the voters may not be used to meet current expenditures of the State.