LD 1088
PUBLIC Law, Chapter 250

on - Session - 127th Maine Legislature
Bill Tracking, Additional Documents Chamber Status

An Act To Implement Recommendations of the Right To Know Advisory Committee

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:


Sec. A-1. 1 MRSA §411, sub-§2, ¶¶L and M,  as enacted by PL 2005, c. 631, §1, are amended to read:

L. Two representatives of the public, one appointed by the President of the Senate and one appointed by the Speaker of the House; and
M. The Attorney General or the Attorney General's designee . ; and

Sec. A-2. 1 MRSA §411, sub-§2, ¶N  is enacted to read:

N One member with broad experience in and understanding of issues and costs in multiple areas of information technology, including practical applications concerning creation, storage, retrieval and accessibility of electronic records; use of communication technologies to support meetings, including teleconferencing and Internet-based conferencing; databases for records management and reporting; and information technology system development and support, appointed by the Governor.


Sec. B-1. 5 MRSA §200-I, sub-§5,  as enacted by PL 2007, c. 603, §1, is amended to read:

5. Report.   The ombudsman shall submit a report not later than March January 15th of each year to the Legislature and the Right To Know Advisory Committee established in Title 1, section 411 concerning the activities of the ombudsman for the previous year. The report must include:
A. The total number of inquiries and complaints received;
B. The number of inquiries and complaints received respectively from the public, the media and public agencies or officials;
C. The number of complaints received concerning respectively public records and public meetings;
D. The number of complaints received concerning respectively:

(1) State agencies;

(2) County agencies;

(3) Regional agencies;

(4) Municipal agencies;

(5) School administrative units; and

(6) Other public entities;

E. The number of inquiries and complaints that were resolved;
F. The total number of written advisory opinions issued and pending; and
G. Recommendations concerning ways to improve public access to public records and proceedings.


Sec. C-1. 22 MRSA c. 271, sub-c. 2,  as amended, is repealed.

Sec. C-2. 26 MRSA §3,  as amended by PL 2011, c. 655, Pt. DD, §10 and affected by §24, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:

§ 3 Confidentiality of records

1 Confidential records.   Except as provided in subsections 2 and 3, all information and reports received by the director or the director's authorized agents under this Title are confidential for the purposes of Title 1, section 402, subsection 3, paragraph A.
2 Exceptions.   Reports of final bureau action taken under the authority of this Title are public records for the purposes of Title 1, chapter 13, subchapter 1.
3 Authorized disclosure.   The director shall make or authorize any disclosure of information of the following types or under the following circumstances with the understanding that the confidentiality of the information will be maintained:
A Information and reports to other government agencies if the director believes that the information will serve to further the protection of the public or assist in the enforcement of local, state and federal laws; and
B Information and records pertaining to the workforce, employment patterns, wage rates, poverty and low-income patterns, economically distressed communities and regions and other similar information and data to the Department of Economic and Community Development and to the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management for the purposes of analysis and evaluation, measuring and monitoring poverty and economic and social conditions throughout the State, and promoting economic development.

Sec. C-3. 26 MRSA §934, 4th ¶,  as enacted by PL 1985, c. 294, §§2 and 3, is amended to read:

The board shall hear all interested persons who come before it, advise the respective parties what ought to be done by either or both to adjust the controversy, and shall make a confidential written report to the Governor and the Executive Director of the Maine Labor Relations Board. The Governor or executive director may shall make the report public if, after 15 days from the date of its receipt, the parties have not resolved the controversy and the public interest would be served by publication. In addition, either the Governor or the executive director may refer the report and recommendations of the board to the Attorney General or other department for appropriate action when it appears that any of the laws of this State may have been violated.

Sec. C-4. 29-A MRSA §257,  as enacted by PL 2003, c. 434, §6 and affected by §37, is repealed.

Sec. C-5. 29-A MRSA §517, sub-§4,  as enacted by PL 1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 and affected by Pt. B, §5, is amended to read:

4. Unmarked law enforcement vehicles.   An unmarked motor vehicle used primarily for law enforcement purposes, when authorized by the Secretary of State and upon approval from the appropriate requesting authority, is exempt from displaying a special registration plate. Records for all unmarked vehicle registrations are confidential.

Upon receipt of a written request by an appropriate criminal justice official showing cause that it is in the best interest of public safety, the Secretary of State may determine that records of a nongovernment vehicle may be held confidential for a specific period of time, which may not exceed the expiration of the current registration.

Sec. C-6. 35-A MRSA §8703, sub-§5,  as enacted by PL 1989, c. 851, §7, is amended to read:

5. Confidentiality.   Relay The providers of telecommunications relay services shall keep relay service communications must be confidential.

Sec. C-7. 38 MRSA §414, sub-§6,  as amended by PL 1997, c. 794, Pt. A, §20, is further amended to read:

6. Confidentiality of records.   Any records, reports or information obtained under this subchapter is available to the public, except that upon a showing satisfactory to the department by any person that any records, reports or information, or particular part of any record, report or information, other than the names and addresses of applicants, license applications, licenses and effluent data, to which the department has access under this subchapter would, if made public, divulge methods or processes that are entitled to protection as trade secrets as defined in Title 10, section 1542, subsection 4, these records, reports or information must be confidential and not available for public inspection or examination. Any records, reports or information may be disclosed to employees or authorized representatives of the State or the United States concerned with carrying out this subchapter or any applicable federal law, and to any party to a hearing held under this section on terms the commissioner may prescribe in order to protect these confidential records, reports and information, as long as this disclosure is material and relevant to any issue under consideration by the department.

Sec. C-8. 38 MRSA §585-B, sub-§6,  as amended by PL 2009, c. 535, §2, is further amended to read:

6. Mercury reduction plans.   An air emission source emitting mercury in excess of 10 pounds per year after January 1, 2007 must develop a mercury reduction plan. Except as provided in subsection 7, the mercury reduction plan must be submitted to the department no later than September 1, 2008. The mercury reduction plan must contain:
A. Identification, characterization and accounting of the mercury used or released at the emission source; and
B. Identification, analysis and evaluation of any appropriate technologies, procedures, processes, equipment or production changes that may be utilized by the emission source to reduce the amount of mercury used or released by that emission source, including a financial analysis of the costs and benefits of reducing the amount of mercury used or released.

The department may keep information submitted to the department under this subsection confidential as provided under section 1310-B.

The department shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over natural resources matters no later than March 1, 2009 summarizing the mercury emissions and mercury reduction potential from those emission sources subject to this subsection. In addition, the department shall include an evaluation of the appropriateness of the 25-pound mercury standard established in subsection 5. The evaluation must address, but is not limited to, the technological feasibility, cost and schedule of achieving the standards established in subsection 5. The department shall submit an updated report to the committee by March 1, 2013. The joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over natural resources matters is authorized to report out to the 126th Legislature a bill relating to the evaluation and the updated report.

Sec. C-9. 38 MRSA §585-C, sub-§2, ¶D,  as affected by PL 1989, c. 890, Pt. A, §40 and amended by Pt. B, §160, is repealed.

Sec. C-10. 38 MRSA §1310-B, sub-§2,  as repealed and replaced by PL 2011, c. 420, Pt. A, §35 and amended by c. 657, Pt. W, §5, is amended to read:

2. Hazardous waste information and information on mercury-added products and electronic devices; chemicals.   Information relating to hazardous waste submitted to the department under this subchapter, information relating to mercury-added products submitted to the department under chapter 16-B, information relating to electronic devices submitted to the department under section 1610, subsection 6-A, information relating to mercury reduction plans submitted to the department under section 585-B, subsection 6, information related to priority toxic chemicals submitted to the department under chapter 27 or information related to products that contain the "deca" mixture of polybrominated diphenyl ethers submitted to the department under section 1609 may be designated by the person submitting it as being only for the confidential use of the department, its agents and employees, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Department of Health and Human Services and their agents and employees, other agencies of State Government, as authorized by the Governor, employees of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Attorney General and, for waste information, employees of the municipality in which the waste is located. The designation must be clearly indicated on each page or other portion of information. The commissioner shall establish procedures to ensure that information so designated is segregated from public records of the department. The department's public records must include the indication that information so designated has been submitted to the department, giving the name of the person submitting the information and the general nature of the information. Upon a request for information, the scope of which includes information so designated, the commissioner shall notify the submittor. Within 15 days after receipt of the notice, the submittor shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the department that the designated information should not be disclosed because the information is a trade secret or production, commercial or financial information, the disclosure of which would impair the competitive position of the submittor and would make available information not otherwise publicly available. Unless such a demonstration is made, the information must be disclosed and becomes a public record. The department may grant or deny disclosure for the whole or any part of the designated information requested and within 15 days shall give written notice of the decision to the submittor and the person requesting the designated information. A person aggrieved by a decision of the department may appeal only to the Superior Court in accordance with the provisions of section 346. All information provided by the department to the municipality under this subsection is confidential and not a public record under Title 1, chapter 13. In the event a request for such information is submitted to the municipality, the municipality shall submit that request to the commissioner to be processed by the department as provided in this subsection.


Sec. D-1. 1 MRSA §433, sub-§2,  as enacted by PL 2005, c. 631, §5, is repealed.

Sec. D-2. 1 MRSA §433, sub-§2-A  is enacted to read:

2-A Scheduling guidelines.   The advisory committee shall use the following list as a guideline for scheduling reviews of public records exceptions and reporting its recommendations to the review committee:
A Exceptions enacted after 2004 and before 2013 are scheduled to be reviewed by the review committee no later than 2017;
B Exceptions codified in the following Titles are scheduled to be reviewed by the review committee no later than 2019:

(1) Title 1;

(2) Title 2;

(3) Title 3;

(4) Title 4;

(5) Title 5;

(6) Title 6;

(7) Title 7; and

(8) Title 7-A;

C Exceptions codified in the following Titles are scheduled to be reviewed by the review committee no later than 2021:

(1) Title 8;

(2) Title 9-A;

(3) Title 9-B;

(4) Title 10;

(5) Title 11; and

(6) Title 12;

D Exceptions codified in the following Titles are scheduled to be reviewed by the review committee no later than 2023:

(1) Title 13;

(2) Title 13-B;

(3) Title 13-C;

(4) Title 14;

(5) Title 15;

(6) Title 16;

(7) Title 17;

(8) Title 17-A;

(9) Title 18-A;

(10) Title 18-B;

(11) Title 19-A;

(12) Title 20-A; and

(13) Title 21-A;

E Exceptions codified in the following Titles are scheduled to be reviewed by the review committee no later than 2025:

(1) Title 22;

(2) Title 22-A;

(3) Title 23;

(4) Title 24; and

(5) Title 24-A;

F Exceptions codified in the following Titles are scheduled to be reviewed by the review committee no later than 2027:

(1) Title 25;

(2) Title 26;

(3) Title 27;

(4) Title 28-A;

(5) Title 29-A;

(6) Title 30;

(7) Title 30-A;

(8) Title 31; and

(9) Title 32; and

G Exceptions codified in the following Titles are scheduled to be reviewed by the review committee no later than 2029:

(1) Title 33;

(2) Title 34-A;

(3) Title 34-B;

(4) Title 35-A;

(5) Title 36;

(6) Title 37-B;

(7) Title 38; and

(8) Title 39-A.

Sec. D-3. 1 MRSA §433, sub-§3,  as enacted by PL 2005, c. 631, §5, is amended to read:

3. Scheduling changes.   The advisory committee may make adjustments to the scheduling guidelines provided in subsection 2 2-A as it determines appropriate and shall notify the review committee of such adjustments.

Effective 90 days following adjournment of the 127th Legislature, First Regular Session, unless otherwise indicated.

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