Public Laws

124th Legislature

First Regular Session


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Chapter 213

H.P. 274 - L.D. 353

PART M

Sec. M-1. 5 MRSA §3305, sub-§1, ¶M,  as repealed and replaced by PL 1995, c. 625, Pt. A, §9, is amended to read:

M.  Administer a program of training and financial assistance certification for municipal code enforcement officers;

Sec. M-2. 7 MRSA §3909, sub-§2,  as amended by PL 1997, c. 683, Pt. B, §1, is further amended to read:

2. Designated employees of the department.   For purposes of prosecution under this section, the commissioner may authorize humane agents and a state veterinarian to serve civil process pursuant to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 80H and any other applicable rules of court. The commissioner may authorize humane agents or a state veterinarian to represent the department in District Court in the prosecution of civil violations of these laws. Certification of the humane agents and a state veterinarian for this purpose is as provided under Title 30-A, section 4453, subsection 5. Once certified, prosecution by the humane agent or a state veterinarian may seek civil penalties as provided by law as well as a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order or other equitable relief as the court finds appropriate.

Sec. M-3. 25 MRSA §2374,  as enacted by PL 2007, c. 699, §11, is amended to read:

§ 2374.  Uniform Building Codes and Standards Fund

The Uniform Building Codes and Standards Fund , referred to in this section as "the fund," is established within the Department of Public Safety to fund the activities of the bureau under this chapter and the activities of the board under Title 10, chapter 1103 and the Executive Department, State Planning Office under Title 30-A, section 4451, subsection 3-A. Revenue for this fund is provided by the surcharge established by section 2450-A. The Department of Public Safety and the Executive Department, State Planning Office shall together determine an amount to be transferred annually from the fund for training and certification under Title 30-A, section 4451, subsection 3-A to the Maine Code Enforcement Training and Certification Fund established in Title 30-A, section 4451, subsection 3-B. Any balance of the fund may not lapse, but must be carried forward as a continuing account to be expended for the same purpose in the following fiscal year.

Sec. M-4. 30-A MRSA §4215, sub-§4,  as amended by PL 1999, c. 228, §6, is further amended to read:

4. Fees.   The plumbing inspector shall issue any permit under this section upon receipt and approval of a completed application form as prescribed by the commissioner and payment by the applicant of the fee established by the municipality. The fee must be at least the minimum amount determined by rule of the department. One-quarter of the amount of the minimum fee must be paid through the department to the Treasurer of State to be maintained as a permanent fund and used by the department to implement its subsurface wastewater disposal rules, to administer the receipt and collation of completed permits and to issue plumbing permit labels to the municipality and by the State Planning Office for training and certification of local plumbing inspectors. The department and the State Planning Office shall together determine an amount to be transferred annually by the Treasurer of State for training and certification of local plumbing inspectors to the Maine Code Enforcement Training and Certification Fund established in section 4451, subsection 3-B. The remainder of the fee must be paid to the treasurer of the municipality.

Sec. M-5. 30-A MRSA §4451, sub-§1,  as amended by PL 1997, c. 296, §§5 and 6 and PL 2003, c. 689, Pt. B, §6, is further amended to read:

1. Certification required; exceptions.   Beginning January 1, 1993, a A municipality may not employ any individual to perform the duties of a code enforcement officer who is not certified by the office, except that:
A. An individual other than an individual appointed as a plumbing inspector has 12 months after beginning employment to be trained and certified as provided in this section;
B. Whether or not any extension is available under paragraph A, the office may waive this requirement for up to one year if the certification requirements cannot be met without imposing a hardship on the municipality employing the individual; and
C. An individual may be temporarily authorized in writing by the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Engineering to be employed as a plumbing inspector for a period not to exceed 12 months . ; and
D An individual whose certification has expired or is about to expire may be temporarily authorized in writing by the office to extend that individual's certification for a period not to exceed 12 months in cases where the necessary training or examination is suspended under subsection 3-B, paragraph E.

A person employed by a municipality or municipalities as a code enforcement officer for at least 3 years prior to January 1, 1990 is deemed certified under this section and, 5 years after the effective date of this paragraph, is subject to the recertification requirements of subsection 6.

Sec. M-6. 30-A MRSA §4451, sub-§3,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 699, §16, is further amended to read:

3. Training and certification of code enforcement officers.   In cooperation with code enforcement officer professional associations, the Maine Community College System, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Safety, except as otherwise provided in paragraph H, the office shall establish a continuing education program for individuals engaged in code enforcement. This program must provide basic and advanced training in the technical and legal aspects of code enforcement necessary for certification. The basic training program must include training to provide familiarity with the laws and ordinances related to the structure and practice of the municipal code enforcement office, municipal planning board and appeals board procedures, application review and permitting procedures, inspection procedures and enforcement techniques.
H If funding is not available to support the training and certification program authorized under this subsection, the office shall discontinue training and certification activities related to laws and ordinances referenced in subsection 2-A, paragraphs A and B and shall adopt by routine technical rules under Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A a program to register code enforcement officers that meet training and education qualifications. The office shall publish the list of persons registered for code enforcement who have submitted evidence of required qualifications. Persons registered under this paragraph must meet the requirements for training and certification under this subchapter. The office shall consult with the Department of Health and Human Services for the purposes of carrying out training and certification activities related to laws and ordinances referenced in subsection 2-A, paragraphs C and D. Within one month of discontinuation of training and certification under this paragraph, the office shall report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over appropriations and financial affairs and the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over state and local government matters a recommendation for funding the training and certification program or for further changes in program requirements.

Sec. M-7. 30-A MRSA §4451, sub-§3-B  is enacted to read:

3-B Maine Code Enforcement Training and Certification Fund.   The Maine Code Enforcement Training and Certification Fund, referred to in this section as "the fund," is established as a nonlapsing fund to support training and certification programs administered by the office for code enforcement officers, local plumbing inspectors, municipal building officials and 3rd-party inspectors in accordance with this subchapter.
A Beginning July 1, 2009, and each year thereafter on July 1st, the funds identified in section 4215, subsection 4 for training and certifying local plumbing inspectors must be transferred to the fund.
B Beginning July 1, 2009, and each year thereafter on July 1st, the funds identified in Title 25, section 2374 for training and certifying municipal building officials, local code enforcement officers and 3rd-party inspectors must be transferred to the fund.
C The office shall place in the fund any money it receives from grants to support the requirements of this subchapter.
D Funds related to code enforcement training and certification may be expended only in accordance with allocations approved by the Legislature and solely for the administration of this subchapter. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of any fiscal year may not lapse but must be carried forward to the next fiscal year.
E If the fund does not contain sufficient money to support the costs of the training and certification provided for in this subchapter, the office may suspend all or reduce the level of training and certification activities.

Sec. M-8. 30-A MRSA §4451, sub-§5,  as amended by PL 1991, c. 163, is further amended to read:

5. Certification standards.   The office shall adopt routine technical rules under Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A to establish by rule the qualifications, conditions and licensing standards and procedures for the certification and recertification of individuals as code enforcement officers. A code enforcement officer need only be certified in the areas of actual job responsibilities. The rules established under this subsection must identify standards for each of the areas of training under subsection 2-A, in addition to general standards that apply to all code enforcement officers.

Sec. M-9. 30-A MRSA §4451, sub-§6,  as amended by PL 1999, c. 547, Pt. B, §§50 and 78 and affected by §80, is further amended to read:

6. Certification; terms; revocation.   The office shall certify individuals as to their competency to successfully enforce ordinances and other land use regulations and permits granted under those ordinances and regulations and shall issue certificates attesting to the competency of those individuals to act as code enforcement officers. Certificates are valid for 5 6 years unless revoked by the District Court. An examination is not required for recertification of code enforcement officers. The office shall recertify a code enforcement officer if the code enforcement officer successfully completes at least 12 hours of approved training in each area of job responsibility during the 5-year 6-year certification period.
A.  The District Court may revoke the certificate of a code enforcement officer, in accordance with Title 4, chapter 5, when it finds that:

(1) The code enforcement officer has practiced fraud or deception;

(2) Reasonable care, judgment or the application of a duly trained and knowledgeable code enforcement officer's ability was not used in the performance of the duties of the office; or

(3) The code enforcement officer is incompetent or unable to perform properly the duties of the office.

B.  Code enforcement officers whose certificates are invalidated under this subsection may be issued new certificates provided that they are newly certified as provided in this section.

Sec. M-10. 30-A MRSA §4453, sub-§3,  as amended by PL 1997, c. 683, Pt. B, §16, is further amended to read:

3. Department of Environmental Protection.   Department of Environmental Protection employees as set forth in Title 38, section 342, subsection 7; and

Sec. M-11. 30-A MRSA §4453, sub-§4,  as amended by PL 1997, c. 683, Pt. B, §16, is further amended to read:

4. Maine Land Use Regulation Commission.   Maine Land Use Regulation Commission employees as set forth in Title 12, section 685-C, subsection 9 ; and .

Sec. M-12. 30-A MRSA §4453, sub-§5,  as enacted by PL 1997, c. 683, Pt. B, §17, is repealed.

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333