H.P. 1098 - L.D. 1560
An Act To Transfer the Pest Control Compact from the Department of Conservation to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 7 MRSA c. 410 is enacted to read:
PEST CONTROL COMPACT
§2311. Pest Control Compact
The Pest Control Compact is enacted into law and entered into with all other jurisdictions legally joining the compact in the form substantially as provided in this chapter.
§2312. Findings -- Article I
The party states find that in the absence of the higher degree of cooperation among them possible under this compact, the annual loss of approximately $137,000,000,000 from the depredations of pests is virtually certain to continue, if not to increase.
Because of varying climatic, geographic and economic factors, each state may be affected differently by particular species of pests, but all states share the inability to protect themselves fully against those pests that present serious dangers to them.
The migratory character of pest infestations makes it necessary for states, both adjacent to and distant from one another, to complement each other's activities when faced with conditions of infestation and reinfestation.
While every state is seriously affected by a substantial number of pests and every state is susceptible to infestation by many species of pests not now causing damage to its crop and plant life and products, the fact that relatively few species of pests present equal danger to or are of interest to all states makes the establishment and operation of an insurance fund from which individual states may obtain financial support for pest control programs of benefit to them in other states and to which they may contribute in accordance with their relative interests the most equitable means of financing cooperative pest eradication and control programs.
§2313. Definitions -- Article II
As used in this compact, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
1. Executive committee. "Executive committee" means the committee established pursuant to section 2316, subsection 5.
2. Governing board. "Governing board" means the administrators of this compact representing all of the party states when the administrators are acting as a body in pursuance of authority vested in them by this compact.
3. Insurance fund. "Insurance fund" means the Pest Control Insurance Fund established pursuant to this compact.
4. Pest. "Pest" means any invertebrate animal, pathogen, parasitic plant or similar or allied organism that can cause disease or damage in any crops, trees, shrubs, grasses or other plants of substantial value.
5. Requesting state. "Requesting state" means a state that invokes the procedures of the compact to secure the undertaking or intensification of measures to control or eradicate one or more pests within one or more other states.
6. Responding state. "Responding state" means a state requested to undertake or intensify the measures referred to in subsection 5.
7. State. "State" means a state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
§2314. The insurance fund -- Article III
The Pest Control Insurance Fund is established for the purpose of financing other than normal pest control operations that the states may be called upon to engage in pursuant to this compact. The insurance fund contains money appropriated to it by the party states and any donations and grants accepted by it. All appropriations, except as conditioned by the rights and obligations of party states expressly set forth in this compact, are unconditional and may not be restricted by the appropriating state to use in the control of any specified pest or pests. Donations and grants may be conditional or unconditional, except that the insurance fund may not accept any donation or grant whose terms are inconsistent with any provision of this compact.
§2315. The insurance fund; internal operations and management -- Article IV
1. Governing board. The insurance fund is administered by a governing board and an executive committee as provided. The actions of the governing board and the executive committee pursuant to this compact are deemed the actions of the insurance fund.
2. Votes. The members of the governing board are entitled to one vote each on the board. Actions of the governing board are not binding unless taken at a meeting at which a majority of the total number of votes of the governing board are cast in favor thereof. Action of the governing board may be taken only at a meeting at which a majority of the members are present.
3. Seal. The insurance fund has a seal that may be employed as an official symbol and that may be affixed to documents and otherwise used as the governing board provides.
4. Officers. The governing board shall elect annually, from among its members, a chair, a vice-chair, a secretary and a treasurer. The chair may not hold successive terms. The governing board may appoint an executive director and fix the executive director's duties and compensation, if any. The executive director serves at the pleasure of the governing board. The governing board shall make provision for the bonding of the officers and employees of the insurance fund as appropriate.
5. Personnel. Irrespective of the civil service, personnel or other merit system laws of any of the party states, the executive director or, if there is no executive director, the chair, in accordance with such procedures as the bylaws may provide, shall appoint, remove or discharge personnel as is necessary for the performance of the functions of the insurance fund and shall fix the duties and compensation of such personnel. The governing board, in its bylaws, shall provide for the personnel policies and programs of the insurance fund.
6. Other personnel. The governing board may borrow, accept or contract for the services of personnel from any state, the United States or any other governmental agency, or from any person, firm, association or corporation.
7. Grants and donations. The governing board may accept, for any of its purposes and functions under this compact, any and all donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services, conditional or otherwise, from any state, the United States or any other governmental agency, or from any person, firm, association or corporation, and may receive, utilize and dispose of the same. Any donation, gift or grant accepted by the governing board pursuant to this subsection or services borrowed pursuant to subsection 6 must be reported in the annual report of the insurance fund. The annual report must include the nature, amount and any conditions of the donation, gift, grant or services borrowed and the identity of the donor or lender.
8. Bylaws. The governing board shall adopt bylaws for the conduct of the business of the insurance fund and has the power to amend and rescind those bylaws. The governing board shall publish its bylaws in convenient form and shall file a copy thereof and a copy of any amendment thereto with the appropriate agency or officer in each of the party states.
9. Report. The governing board annually shall make to the governor and legislature of each party state a report covering the activities of the insurance fund for the preceding year. The governing board may make additional reports it considers desirable.
10. Other powers. In addition to the powers and duties specifically authorized and imposed, the governing board may do other things necessary and incidental to the conduct of its affairs pursuant to this compact.
§2316. Compact and insurance fund administration -- Article V
1. Administration. In each party state there is a compact administrator who is selected and serves in such a manner as the laws of the administrator's state provide and who shall:
A. Assist in the coordination of activities pursuant to the compact in the administrator's state; and
B. Represent the administrator's state on the governing board of the insurance fund.
2. United States representatives. If the laws of the United States specifically so provide, or if administrative provision is made therefor within the Federal Government, the United States may be represented on the governing board of the insurance fund by up to 3 representatives. Any such representative or representatives of the United States must be appointed and shall serve in a manner provided by or pursuant to federal law, but no such representative has a vote on the governing board or on the executive committee.
3. Meetings. The governing board shall meet at least once each year for the purpose of determining policies and procedures in the administration of the insurance fund and, consistent with the compact, supervising and giving direction to the expenditure of money from the insurance fund. Additional meetings of the governing board must be held on call of the chair, the executive committee or a majority of the membership of the governing board.
4. Applications. When in session, the governing board shall decide upon applications for assistance from the insurance fund and authorize disbursements therefrom. When the governing board is not in session, the executive committee shall act as agent of the governing board with full authority to act for it in deciding upon such applications.
5. Executive committee. The executive committee is composed of the chairman of the governing board and 4 additional members of the governing board chosen by the governing board so that there is one member representing each of 4 geographic groupings of party states. The governing board shall make those geographic groupings. If there is representation of the United States on the governing board, one representative may meet with the executive committee. The chair of the governing board is chair of the executive committee. An action of the executive committee is not binding unless taken at a meeting at which at least 4 members of the committee are present and vote in favor thereof. Necessary expenses of each of the 5 members of the executive committee incurred in attending meetings of the committee, when not held at the same time and place as a meeting of the governing board, are charges against the insurance fund.
§2317. Assistance and reimbursement -- Article VI
1. Efforts. Each party state pledges to each other party state that it will employ its best efforts to eradicate or control, within the strictest practicable limits, any and all pests. It is recognized that performance of this responsibility involves:
A. Maintaining pest control and eradication activities of interstate significance by a party state at a level that would be reasonable for its own protection in the absence of this compact; and
B. Meeting emergency outbreaks or infestations of interstate significance to no less an extent than would have been done in the absence of this compact.
2. Requests. Whenever a party state is threatened by a pest not present within its borders but present within another party state, or whenever a party state is undertaking or engaged in activities for the control or eradication of a pest or pests and finds that such activities are or would be impracticable or substantially more difficult because of the failure of another party state to cope with infestation or threatened infestation, that state may request the governing board to authorize expenditures from the insurance fund for eradication or control measures to be taken by one or more of the other party states at a level sufficient to prevent or to reduce, to the greatest practicable extent, infestation or reinfestation of the requesting state. Upon authorization of the expenditures, the responding state or states shall take or increase eradication or control measures as warranted. A responding state shall use money made available from the insurance fund expeditiously and efficiently to assist in affording the protection requested.
3. Application. In order to apply for expenditures from the insurance fund, a requesting state must submit the following in writing:
A. A detailed statement of the circumstances that occasion the request for invoking the compact;
B. Evidence that the pest for which eradication or control assistance is requested constitutes a danger to an agricultural or forest crop, product, tree, shrub, grass or other plant having a substantial value to the requesting state;
C. A statement of the extent of the present and projected program of the requesting state and its subdivisions, including full information as to the legal authority for the conduct of the program or programs and the expenditures being made or budgeted therefor, in connection with the eradication, control or prevention of introduction of the pest concerned;
D. Proof that the expenditures being made or budgeted as detailed in paragraph C do not constitute a reduction of the effort for the control or eradication of the pest concerned or, if there is a reduction, the reasons that the level of the program detailed in paragraph C constitutes a normal level of pest control activity;
E. A declaration as to whether, to the best of the requesting state's knowledge and belief, the conditions that in its view occasion the invoking of the compact in the particular instance can be abated by a program undertaken with the aid of money from the insurance fund in one year or less, or whether the request is for an installment in a program that is likely to continue for a longer period of time; and
F. Any other information as the governing board requires consistent with this compact.
4. Notice of meeting. The governing board or executive committee shall give due notice of any meeting at which an application for assistance from the insurance fund is to be considered. The notice must be given to the compact administrator of each party state and to any other officers and agencies designated by the laws of the party states. The requesting state and any other party state are entitled to be represented and to present evidence and arguments at the meeting.
5. Support. Upon the submission required by subsection 3 and any other information it has or acquires, and upon determining that an expenditure of funds is within the purposes of this compact and justified thereby, the governing board or executive committee shall authorize support of the program. The governing board or the executive committee may meet at any time or place for the purpose of receiving and considering an application. All determinations of the governing board or executive committee with respect to an application, together with the reasons therefor, must be recorded and subscribed in such a manner as to show and preserve the votes of the individual members.
6. Review. A requesting state that is dissatisfied with a determination of the executive committee, upon notice in writing given within 20 days of the determination with which it is dissatisfied, is entitled to receive a review at the next meeting of the governing board. Determinations of the executive committee are reviewable only by the governing board at one of its regular meetings or at a special meeting held in such a manner as the governing board may authorize.
7. Claims. Responding states required to undertake or increase measures pursuant to this compact may receive money from the insurance fund either at the time or times when the state incurs expenditures on account of the measures or as reimbursement for expenses incurred and chargeable to the insurance fund. The governing board shall adopt and from time to time may amend or revise procedures for submission of claims and for payment thereof.
8. Federal Government assistance. Before authorizing the expenditure of money from the insurance fund pursuant to an application of a requesting state, the governing board shall ascertain the extent and nature of any timely assistance or participation that may be available from the Federal Government and shall request assistance and participation from the appropriate agency or agencies of the Federal Government.
9. Memorandum of understanding. The governing board may negotiate and execute a memorandum of understanding or other appropriate instrument defining the extent and degree of assistance or participation between and among the insurance fund, cooperating federal agencies, states and any other entities concerned.
§2318. Advisory and technical committees -- Article VII
The governing board may establish advisory and technical committees composed of state, local and federal officials and private persons to advise it with respect to any one or more of its functions. Any such advisory or technical committee or any member or members thereof may meet with and participate in its deliberations upon request of the governing board or executive committee. An advisory or technical committee may furnish information and recommendations with respect to any application for assistance from the insurance fund being considered by the governing board or executive committee and the board or committee may receive and consider the same, provided that any participant in a meeting of the governing board or executive committee held pursuant to section 2317, subsection 4 is entitled to know the substance of any such information and recommendations, at the time of the meeting if furnished before or as part of the meeting or, if furnished after the meeting, no later than the time at which the governing board or executive committee makes its disposition of the application.
§2319. Relations with nonparty jurisdictions -- Article VIII
1. Application. A party state may make application for assistance from the insurance fund with respect to a pest in a nonparty state. The application must be considered and decided on by the governing board or executive committee in the same manner as an application with respect to a pest within a party state, except as provided in this section.
2. Nonparty state. At or in connection with any meeting of the governing board or executive committee held pursuant to section 2317, a nonparty state is entitled to appear, participate and receive information only to the extent that the governing board or executive committee provides. A nonparty state is not entitled to a review of any determination made by the executive committee.
3. Expenditures. The governing board or executive committee shall authorize expenditures from the insurance fund to be made in a nonparty state only after determining that the conditions in the nonparty state and the value of the expenditures to the party states, as a whole, justify them. The governing board or executive committee may set any conditions that it considers appropriate with respect to the expenditure of money from the insurance fund in a nonparty state and may enter into an agreement or agreements with nonparty states and other jurisdictions or entities as it determines necessary or appropriate to protect the interests of the insurance fund with respect to expenditures and activities outside of party states.
§2320. Finance -- Article IX
1. Budget. The governing board shall submit to the executive head or designated officer or officers of each party state a budget for the insurance fund for such a period as may be required by the laws of that party state for presentation to the legislature thereof.
2. Recommendations. Each budget must contain specific recommendations of the amount or amounts to be appropriated by each party state. The requests for appropriations must be appropriated among the party states as follows: one tenth of the total budget in equal shares and the remainder in proportion to the value of agricultural and forest crops and products, excluding animals and animal products, produced in each party state. In determining the value of the crops and products, the insurance fund may employ any source or sources of information that in its judgment presents the most equitable and accurate comparison among the party states. Each budget and request for appropriations must indicate the source or sources used in obtaining information concerning the value of the products.
3. Accounts. The financial assets of the insurance fund must be maintained in 2 accounts to be designated as the "operating account" and the "claims account." The operating account consists only of those assets necessary for the administration of the insurance fund during the next ensuing 2-year period. The claims account contains all money not included in the operating account and may not exceed the amount reasonably estimated to be sufficient to pay all legitimate claims on the insurance fund for a period of 3 years. When the claims account has reached its maximum limit or would reach its maximum limit by the addition of money requested for appropriation by the party states, the governing board shall reduce its budget request on a pro rata basis in such a manner as to keep the claims account within the maximum limit. Any money in the claims account by virtue of conditional donations, grants or gifts must be included in calculations made pursuant to this subsection only to the extent that such money is available to meet demands arising out of claims.
4. Pledge of credit. The governing board may not pledge the credit of any party state. The governing board may meet any of its obligations in whole or in part with money available to it under section 2315, subsection 7 if the governing board takes specific action setting aside the money prior to incurring any obligation to be met in whole or in part in such a manner. Except when the insurance fund makes use of money available to it under section 2315, subsection 7, the governing board may not incur any obligation prior to the allotment of money by the party states adequate to meet the obligation.
5. Records. The governing board shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the insurance fund are subject to audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. All receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the insurance fund must be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant, and a report of the audit must be included in and become part of the annual report of the insurance fund.
6. Inspection of accounts. The accounts of the insurance fund must be open at any reasonable time for inspection by duly authorized officers of the party states and by any persons authorized by the governing board.
§2321. Entry into force and withdrawal -- Article X
This compact enters into force when enacted into law by 5 or more states. Thereafter, this compact becomes effective, as to any other state, upon that state's enactment thereof.
Any party state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the same, but no withdrawal may take effect until 2 years after the executive head of the withdrawing state has given notice in writing of the withdrawal to the executive heads of all other party states. No withdrawal affects any liability already incurred by or chargeable to a party state prior to the time of the withdrawal.
§2322. Construction and severability -- Article XI
This compact must be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. This compact is severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any state or of the United States, or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance may not be affected thereby. If this compact is held contrary to the constitution of any state participating herein, the compact remains in full force and effect as to the remaining party states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.
Consistent with law and within available appropriations, the departments, agencies and officers of this State shall cooperate with the governing board of the Pest Control Insurance Fund established by the Pest Control Compact.
§2324. Bylaws filed
Pursuant to section 2315, subsection 8, copies of bylaws and amendments thereto must be filed with the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources.
§2325. Compact administrator
The compact administrator for this State is the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources. The duties of the compact administrator are deemed a regular part of the duties of this office.
Within the meaning of section 2317, subsection 2 or section 2319, subsection 1, a request or application for assistance from the insurance fund may be made by the Governor whenever in the Governor's judgment the conditions qualifying this State for assistance exist and it would be in the best interest of this State to make the request.
The department, agency or officer expending or becoming liable for an expenditure on behalf of a control or eradication program undertaken or intensified pursuant to the compact must have credited to the appropriate account in the State Treasury the amount or amounts of any payments made to this State to defray the cost of that program or any part thereof, or as reimbursement thereof.
§2328. "Executive head" defined
As used in the compact, with reference to this State, the term "executive head" means the Governor.
Sec. 2. 12 MRSA c. 803, sub-c. 5, as amended, is repealed.
Effective September 17, 2005.
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