An Act To Address Hunger, Support Maine Farms and Reduce Waste
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, the Maine Food Recovery Commission established in the bill must submit a report to the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources with its findings and recommendations, including suggested legislation, by December 6, 2017 in order to provide information for the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature; and
Whereas, the commission will need more time to perform its duties in order to meet the December 6, 2017 report date; 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. A-1. Maine Food Recovery Commission established. The Maine Food Recovery Commission, referred to in this Part as "the commission," is established.
Sec. A-2. Commission membership. The commission consists of 13 members that, notwithstanding Joint Rule 353, are appointed as follows:
1. Two members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate, including a member from each of the 2 parties holding the largest number of seats in the Legislature;
2. Three members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House, including a member from each of the 2 parties holding the largest number of seats in the Legislature;
3. Three members appointed by the President of the Senate as follows:
4. Four members appointed by the Speaker of the House as follows:
5. One member appointed by the Governor who is a staff person from the sustainability division within the Department of Environmental Protection.
Sec. A-3. Chairs. The first-named Senate member is the Senate chair and the first-named House of Representatives member is the House chair of the commission.
Sec. A-4. Appointments; convening commission. All appointments must be made no later than 30 days following the effective date of this Part. The appointing authorities shall notify the Executive Director of the Legislative Council once all appointments have been completed. After appointment of all members, the chairs shall call and convene the first meeting of the commission. If 30 days or more after the effective date of this Part a majority of but not all appointments have been made, the chairs may request authority and the Legislative Council may grant authority for the commission to meet and conduct its business.
Sec. A-5. Duties. The commission shall meet a minimum of 4 times to:
1. Review and evaluate the economic, environmental and human costs of food waste in Maine;
2. Assess current systems of food production, distribution and waste to determine where and how food is wasted in a manner inconsistent with Maine's food recovery hierarchy under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 38, section 2101-B; and
3. Develop a comprehensive strategy to advance Maine's food recovery hierarchy by:
In conducting the duties under this section, the commission shall seek public input and shall consult and collaborate with stakeholders and experts in the fields of food production and distribution, hunger relief, food recovery and recycling.
For purposes of this section, "large generator" means an entity that generates more than one ton of food waste per week, including, but not limited to, a hospital, college, university, primary or secondary school, restaurant, nursing home, retail food store or lodging or resort facility.
Sec. A-6. Staff assistance. The Legislative Council shall provide necessary staffing services to the commission. At the request of the commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies of State Government shall provide additional assistance to the commission.
Sec. A-7. Report. No later than December 6, 2017, the commission shall submit a report that includes its findings and recommendations, including suggested legislation, for presentation to the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
Sec. B-1. 14 MRSA §166, sub-§1, ¶A-1 is enacted to read:
Sec. B-2. 14 MRSA §166, sub-§3, as enacted by PL 1981, c. 300, is amended to read:
Sec. B-3. 14 MRSA §166, sub-§5, as enacted by PL 1991, c. 739, §1 and amended by PL 2003, c. 689, Pt. B, §6, is further amended to read:
Sec. B-4. 14 MRSA §166, sub-§6 is enacted to read:
Sec. B-5. 36 MRSA §5219-OO is enacted to read:
§ 5219-OO. Maine food producers donation tax credit
(1) That is exempt from federal taxation under the Code, Section 501(c)(3); and
(2) Whose principal charitable purpose is to reduce food insecurity of residents of this State directly or indirectly through a network of nonprofit food assistance organizations.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
This bill creates the Maine food producers donation tax credit. The tax credit program allows food producers to apply for a tax credit equal to 50% of the fair market value of the donated food when they donate such food to a nonprofit food assistance organization or school. The Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Revenue Services may not authorize more than $150,000 in tax credits per fiscal year. The bill directs the bureau to adopt rules to implement the Maine food producers donation tax credit.
The bill also includes immunity from civil liability in regards to injury, illness or death due to the condition of the donated food for a charitable or nonprofit organization and its employees who distribute food without charge or at less than fair market value. The immunity also applies to a hospital or health care facility or eating establishment that donates food. The bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and publish a summary of liability protections for food donors and distributors of donated food.
The bill also creates the Maine Food Recovery Commission, consisting of 13 members, 5 of whom are Legislators. The commission must meet 4 times to review and evaluate the economic, environmental and human costs of food waste in Maine and assess current systems of food production, distribution and waste to determine where and how food is wasted in a manner inconsistent with Maine's food recovery hierarchy as well as to develop a strategy to address any inconsistencies with the food recover hierarchy. The commission is required to submit a report by December 6, 2017 to the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources with its findings and recommendations, including suggested legislation.