An Act To Create the Maine Clean Energy Fund and To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Capitalize the Fund
Preamble. Two thirds of both Houses of the Legislature deeming it necessary in accordance with the Constitution of Maine, Article IX, Section 14 to authorize the issuance of bonds on behalf of the State of Maine to provide funds as described in this Act,
Sec. A-1. Authorization of bonds. The Treasurer of State is authorized, under the direction of the Governor, to issue bonds in the name and on behalf of the State in an amount not exceeding $100,000,000 for the purposes described in section 5 of this Part. The bonds are a pledge of the full faith and credit of the State. The bonds may not run for a period longer than 10 years from the date of the original issue of the bonds.
Sec. A-2. Records of bonds issued; Treasurer of State. The Treasurer of State shall ensure that an account of each bond is kept showing the number of the bond, the name of the successful bidder to whom sold, the amount received for the bond, the date of sale and the date when payable.
Sec. A-3. Sale; how negotiated; proceeds appropriated. The Treasurer of State may negotiate the sale of the bonds by direction of the Governor, but no bond may be loaned, pledged or hypothecated on behalf of the State. The proceeds of the sale of the bonds, which must be held by the Treasurer of State and paid by the Treasurer of State upon warrants drawn by the State Controller, are appropriated solely for the purposes set forth in this Part. Any unencumbered balances remaining at the completion of the project in this Part lapse to the Office of the Treasurer of State to be used for the retirement of general obligation bonds.
Sec. A-4. Interest and debt retirement. The Treasurer of State shall pay interest due or accruing on any bonds issued under this Part and all sums coming due for payment of bonds at maturity.
Sec. A-5. Disbursement of bond proceeds from General Fund bond issue. The proceeds of the sale of the bonds authorized under this Part must be expended as designated in the following schedule under the direction and supervision of the agencies and entities set forth in this section.
|Efficiency Maine Trust|
Sec. A-6. Contingent upon ratification of bond issue. Sections 1 to 5 do not become effective unless the people of the State ratify the issuance of the bonds as set forth in this Part.
Sec. A-7. Appropriation balances at year-end. At the end of each fiscal year, all unencumbered appropriation balances representing state money carry forward. Bond proceeds that have not been expended within 10 years after the date of the sale of the bonds lapse to the Office of the Treasurer of State to be used for the retirement of general obligation bonds.
Sec. A-8. Bonds authorized but not issued. Any bonds authorized but not issued within 5 years of ratification of this Part are deauthorized and may not be issued, except that the Legislature may, within 2 years after the expiration of that 5-year period, extend the period for issuing any remaining unissued bonds for an additional amount of time not to exceed 5 years.
Sec. A-9. Referendum for ratification; submission at election; form of question; effective date. This Part must be submitted to the legal voters of the State at a statewide election held in the month of November following passage of this Act. The municipal officers of this State shall notify the inhabitants of their respective cities, towns and plantations to meet, in the manner prescribed by law for holding a statewide election, to vote on the acceptance or rejection of this Part by voting on the following question:
"Do you favor a $100,000,000 bond issue for the Maine Clean Energy Fund to support the development of renewable and clean energy technologies and infrastructure through providing financing support including loans, loan guarantees and other financial and risk mitigation products?"
The legal voters of each city, town and plantation shall vote by ballot on this question and designate their choice by a cross or check mark placed within a corresponding square below the word "Yes" or "No." The ballots must be received, sorted, counted and declared in open ward, town and plantation meetings and returns made to the Secretary of State in the same manner as votes for members of the Legislature. The Governor shall review the returns. If a majority of the legal votes are cast in favor of this Part, the Governor shall proclaim the result without delay and this Part becomes effective 30 days after the date of the proclamation.
The Secretary of State shall prepare and furnish to each city, town and plantation all ballots, returns and copies of this Part necessary to carry out the purposes of this referendum.
Sec. B-1. 5 MRSA §12004-F, sub-§19 is enacted to read:
|Board of Directors, Maine Clean Energy Fund||Legislative Per Diem Plus Expenses||35-A MRSA §10124|
Sec. B-2. 35-A MRSA §10104, sub-§13 is enacted to read:
Sec. B-3. 35-A MRSA §10124 is enacted to read:
§ 10124. Maine Clean Energy Fund
(1) Changes in the price of electricity over time; or
(2) Incentive payments designed to induce lower electricity use at times of high market prices or when system reliability is jeopardized.
(1) Results in the reduction of energy use required to achieve the same level of service or output obtained before the application of the project, technology, product, service, function or measure; or
(2) Substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions relative to emissions that would have been produced before the application of the project, technology, product, service, function or measure.
(1) Solar resources;
(2) Wind resources;
(3) Geothermal resources;
(4) Nonhazardous organic biomass;
(5) Anaerobic digestion of organic waste streams;
(6) Small-scale hydropower that produces 30 megawatts or less of electricity;
(7) Tidal currents;
(8) Fuel cells using renewable resources; and
(9) Any other source that naturally replenishes over a human, rather than geological, time frame and that is ultimately derived from solar, water or wind resources.
When nominating or appointing members under paragraphs G to I, preference must be given to nominees who have expertise in renewable energy, economic development, banking, law, finance or other matters relevant to the work of the board and consideration must be given to nominating or appointing members to reflect the ethnic and geographic diversity of the State. Members under paragraphs G to I serve 3-year terms and may be reappointed for additional 3-year terms. A vacancy occurring in the membership of the board must be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. The members of the board annually shall elect a chair from the membership, and the board shall meet at least semiannually and may meet at other times upon the call of the chair. Five members of the board constitute a quorum, and a quorum is required for the board to take action on any matter. The board shall adopt rules for its own management and government. A member of the board is entitled to receive the legislative per diem allowance and travel expenses provided for state officers and employees generally.
Sec. B-4. Staggered terms. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 10124, subsection 3, of the initial appointments of the board of directors of the Maine Clean Energy Fund, for members appointed pursuant to Title 35-A, section 10124, subsection 3, paragraphs G to I, the Governor shall appoint the first appointment to a one-year term, the next appointment to a 2-year term and any other appointment to a 3-year term. A member appointed under this section may be reappointed to a 3-year term after the fulfillment of the member's initial term pursuant to the provisions of Title 35-A, section 10124, subsection 3.
Sec. B-5. Contingent effective date. This Part takes effect only if the General Fund bond issue proposed in Part A is approved by the voters of this State.
This bill creates the Maine Clean Energy Fund within and with oversight from the Efficiency Maine Trust to support the development of renewable and clean energy technologies and infrastructure through providing financing support including loans, loan guarantees and other financial and risk mitigation products. The fund is administered by a 9-member board of directors consisting of certain government officials and members of the public appointed by the Governor.
This bill also provides for a bond issue in the amount of $100,000,000 to be used to capitalize the Maine Clean Energy Fund.