An Act To Provide Support to Students, Staff and Faculty at Postsecondary Educational Institutions for Temporary Closures Due to Infectious Diseases
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, certain postsecondary educational institutions in the State have temporarily suspended classes and are requiring students to remain off campus due to safety concerns caused by COVID-19, an infectious disease; and
Whereas, students and staff and faculty of these institutions may be financially affected by the temporary suspensions; and
Whereas, this legislation must take effect before the end of the 90-day period to address, as soon as possible, the financial effects on students and staff and faculty; 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. 1. 20-A MRSA §10015 is enacted to read:
§ 10015. Temporary suspension of classes due to infectious disease
Sec. 2. Retroactivity. This Act applies retroactively to February 1, 2020.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
This bill requires a postsecondary educational institution in the State that temporarily suspends classes and requires students, staff and faculty to remain off campus due to an infectious disease, including COVID-19, to:
1. Reimburse students on a pro rata basis any unused fees previously paid to the institution by the student, and, if classes are not conducted remotely or through an alternate method as determined appropriate by the institution, tuition;
2. Develop a plan to allow certain students, based on a student's individual circumstances, to remain on campus and to provide housing and dining options to those students; and
3. Develop a plan, in consultation with the Department of Labor and the Department of Education, to compensate staff and faculty for lost compensation due to the temporary suspension.
This bill applies retroactively to February 1, 2020.