Maine Revised Statutes

§11. Maine Jobs, Trade and Democracy Act

1. Short title.  This section may be known and cited as "the Maine Jobs, Trade and Democracy Act."
[ 2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW) .]
2. Definitions.  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Commission" means the Citizen Trade Policy Commission established in Title 5, section 12004-I, subsection 79-A. [2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW).]
B. "Trade agreement" means any agreement reached between the United States Government and any other country, countries or other international political entity or entities that proposes to regulate trade among the parties to the agreement. "Trade agreement" includes, but is not limited to, the North American Free Trade Agreement, agreements with the World Trade Organization and the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas. [2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW).]
[ 2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW) .]
3. Purposes.  The commission is established to assess and monitor the legal and economic impacts of trade agreements on state and local laws, working conditions and the business environment; to provide a mechanism for citizens and Legislators to voice their concerns and recommendations; and to make policy recommendations designed to protect Maine's jobs, business environment and laws from any negative impact of trade agreements.
[ 2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW) .]
4. Membership.  The commission consists of the following members:
A. The following 17 voting members:
(1) Three Senators representing at least 2 political parties, appointed by the President of the Senate;
(2) Three members of the House of Representatives representing at least 2 political parties, appointed by the Speaker of the House;
(3) The Attorney General or the Attorney General's designee;
(4) Four members of the public, appointed by the Governor as follows:
(a) A small business person;
(b) A small farmer;
(c) A representative of a nonprofit organization that promotes fair trade policies; and
(d) A representative of a Maine-based corporation that is active in international trade;
(5) Three members of the public appointed by the President of the Senate as follows:
(a) A health care professional;
(b) A representative of a Maine-based manufacturing business with 25 or more employees; and
(c) A representative of an economic development organization; and
(6) Three members of the public appointed by the Speaker of the House as follows:
(a) A person who is active in the organized labor community;
(b) A member of a nonprofit human rights organization; and
(c) A member of a nonprofit environmental organization.
In making appointments of members of the public, the appointing authorities shall make every effort to appoint representatives of generally recognized and organized constituencies of the interest groups mentioned in subparagraphs (4), (5) and (6); and [2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW).]
B. The following 4 commissioners or the commissioners' designees of the following 4 departments and the president or the president's designee of the Maine International Trade Center who serve as ex officio, nonvoting members:
(1) Department of Labor;
(3) Department of Environmental Protection;
(4) Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; and
(5) Department of Health and Human Services. [2003, c. 689, Pt. B, §6 (REV); 2007, c. 266, §1 (AMD); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV).]
[ 2003, c. 689, Pt. B, §6 (REV); 2007, c. 266, §1 (AMD); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV) .]
5. Terms; vacancies; limits.  Except for Legislators, commissioners and the Attorney General, who serve terms coincident with their elective or appointed terms, all members are appointed for 3-year terms. A vacancy must be filled by the same appointing authority that made the original appointment. Appointed members may not serve more than 2 terms. Members may continue to serve until their replacements are designated. A member may designate an alternate to serve on a temporary basis.
[ 2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW) .]
6. Chair; officers; rules.  The first-named Senate member and the first-named House of Representatives member are cochairs of the commission. The commission shall appoint other officers as necessary and make rules for orderly procedure.
[ 2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW) .]
7. Compensation.  Legislators who are members of the commission are entitled to receive the legislative per diem and expenses as defined in Title 3, section 2 for their attendance to their duties under this chapter. Other members are entitled to receive reimbursement of necessary expenses if they are not otherwise reimbursed by their employers or others whom they represent.
[ 2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW) .]
8. Staff.  The Legislature, through the commission, shall contract for staff support for the commission, which, to the extent funding permits, must be year-round staff support. In the event funding does not permit adequate staff support, the commission may request staff support from the Legislative Council, except that Legislative Council staff support is not authorized when the Legislature is in regular or special session.
[ 2013, c. 427, §1 (RPR) .]
9. Powers and duties.  The commission:
A. Shall meet at least twice annually; [2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW).]
B. Shall hear public testimony and recommendations from the people of the State and qualified experts when appropriate at no fewer than 2 locations throughout the State each year on the actual and potential social, environmental, economic and legal impacts of international trade agreements and negotiations on the State; [2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW).]
C. Shall every 2 years conduct an assessment of the impacts of international trade agreements on Maine's state laws, municipal laws, working conditions and business environment. The assessment must be submitted and made available to the public as provided for in the annual report in paragraph D; [2007, c. 266, §2 (AMD).]
D. Shall maintain active communications with and submit an annual report to the Governor, the Legislature, the Attorney General, municipalities, Maine's congressional delegation, the Maine International Trade Center, the Maine Municipal Association, the United States Trade Representative's Office, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Association of Attorneys General or the successor organization of any of these groups. The commission shall make the report easily accessible to the public by way of a publicly accessible site on the Internet maintained by the State. The report must contain information acquired pursuant to activities under paragraph B and may contain information acquired pursuant to activities under paragraph C; [2007, c. 266, §3 (AMD).]
E. Shall maintain active communications with any entity the commission determines appropriate regarding ongoing developments in international trade agreements and policy; [2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW).]
F. May recommend or submit legislation to the Legislature; [2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW).]
G. May recommend that the State support, or withhold its support from, future trade negotiations or agreements; and [2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW).]
H. May examine any aspects of international trade, international economic integration and trade agreements that the members of the commission consider appropriate. [2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW).]
[ 2007, c. 266, §§2, 3 (AMD) .]
10. Accounting; outside funding.  All funds appropriated, allocated or otherwise provided to the commission must be deposited in an account separate from all other funds of the Legislature and are nonlapsing. Funds in the account may be used only for the purposes of the commission. The commission may seek and accept outside funding to fulfill commission duties. Prompt notice of solicitation and acceptance of funds must be sent to the Legislative Council. All funds accepted must be forwarded to the Executive Director of the Legislative Council, along with an accounting that includes the amount received, the date that amount was received, from whom that amount was received, the purpose of the donation and any limitation on use of the funds. The executive director shall administer all funds received in accordance with this section. At the beginning of each fiscal year, and at any other time at the request of the cochairs of the commission, the executive director shall provide to the commission an accounting of all funds available to the commission, including funds available for staff support.
[ 2013, c. 427, §2 (AMD) .]
11. Evaluation.  By December 31, 2009, the commission shall conduct an evaluation of its activities and recommend to the Legislature whether to continue, alter or cease the commission's activities.
[ 2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW) .]
2003, c. 689, Pt. B, §6 (REV). 2003, c. 699, §2 (NEW). 2007, c. 266, §§1-3 (AMD). 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV). 2013, c. 427, §§1, 2 (AMD).