An Act To Restore Public Health Nursing Services
Sec. A-1. 22 MRSA §1963, sub-§3, as amended by PL 1995, c. 502, Pt. D, §4, is further amended to read:
Sec. A-2. 22 MRSA §§1964 and 1965 are enacted to read:
§ 1964. Required staffing
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and without further approval or justification, the department shall promptly fill all public health nurse positions within the Public Health Nursing Program for which funding is provided.
The department shall widely post public notices for public health nurse vacancies under this section on publicly accessible state websites and in other appropriate locations. Public notice must be posted within 30 days of the effective date of this section for vacancies then existing and within 30 days of each subsequent vacancy that occurs. The department shall recruit and hire qualified individuals for these vacant positions.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department may not transfer or otherwise repurpose any funds appropriated or allocated for the salaries, benefits and other costs of public health nurses and the services they provide.
§ 1965. Required office space; support for staff
The department shall provide office space and support services on a regional basis for the staff of the Public Health Nursing Program to the full extent of required staffing provided in section 1964 in order to derive the maximum benefit from the professional skills of public health nursing staff and to minimize unnecessary driving time.
Sec. B-1. Staffing levels. The staffing for the Public Health Nursing Program, established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, chapter 408 and required by Title 22, section 1964, must be achieved as soon as possible after enactment of this Act, but no later than March 1, 2018.
Sec. B-2. Report. The Director of the Public Health Nursing Program under the Department of Health and Human Services shall report in writing to the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services by December 15, 2017 and February 15, 2018 on the progress of the department in achieving full staffing of the Public Health Nursing Program as required by the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, section 1964.