L. Gary Knight
District 81 State Rep.
Bills cosponsored by Gary Knight in the 124th (2008- 2010) Legislature:

"LD 130 - An Act to Allow a Municipality Greater Flexibility to Disburse State Fees"


This bill allows a municipality greater flexibility to disburse state fees to the State by reducing municipal processing requirements. This will encourage timely disbursing of state fees to the Department of the Secretary of State, Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

"LD 180 - An Act to Make Technical Corrections to the Operating Under the Influence Laws" (Emergency)


This bill corrects the inconsistency in the minimum periods of license suspension for repeat OUI offenders resulting from Public Law 2007, chapter 531.
The bill amends the OUI laws to treat OUI convictions rendered by jurisdictions other than the State the same as Maine OUI convictions for the purpose of increasing the class of crime for operating after habitual offender revocation.
This bill amends the OUI laws to treat OUI convictions rendered by jurisdictions other than the State the same as Maine OUI convictions for purposes of the imposition of penalties for aggravated operating after habitual offender revocation.

"LD 204 - An Act Regarding the Conducting of Games of Chance by Nonprofit Organizations"


This bill provides that a local chapter of a statewide nonprofit organization that wishes to conduct a game of chance need only provide the date and location where the game of chance will be conducted. The statewide nonprofit organization must provide a copy of its bylaws, a list of all local chapters, the name of the local chapter wishing to conduct a game of chance and the names of the officers of the local chapter in order for the local chapter to be eligible for a game of chance license with these reduced requirements.

"LD 218 - An Act To Exempt the United States Flag from Sales Tax"


This bill exempts the sale of the United States flag from sales tax.

"LD 230 - An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for the Purchase and Protection of Traditional Hunting Grounds"


The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $10,000,000, will be used to provide funds for the purchase and protection of traditional hunting grounds.

"LD 291 - An Act To Exempt Breast-feeding Mothers from Jury Duty"


This bill allows a mother who is breast-feeding to request a deferral from jury duty as long as she is breast-feeding and does not require the mother to appear in court if the request is made in writing.

"LD 349 - An Act To Authorize Arbitration of Property Tax Valuation Disputes"


Current law allows a property owner in a municipality that has adopted a board of assessment review to seek an abatement from that board. Either the municipality or the property owner may appeal the decision of the board of assessment review to the Superior Court.
This bill allows a property owner to submit the decision of the board of assessment review to binding arbitration and specifies the procedure for selecting a neutral arbitrator and participating in binding arbitration. A decision to submit to binding arbitration stays a municipality’s appeal to the Superior Court

"LD 360 - An Act To Notify a Lienholder before Property Is Withdrawn from Assessment under the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law"


Current law requires the owner of property subject to an abatement under the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law to file a sworn statement attesting to the completion of a forest management and harvest plan for the property. If the owner fails to file the statement, the municipal assessor or State Tax Assessor is required to provide notice to the owner of the requirement to file the statement.
This bill requires the assessor to also provide notice to any lienholder on the land and allows the lienholder to file the statement if the owner does not.

"LD 404 - An Act To Promote Property Tax Relief for Maine's Senior Citizens"


This bill provides that income eligibility for benefits under the Circuitbreaker Program for households in which all members are 65 years of age or older must be determined using federal adjusted gross income rather than the definition of income that will continue to apply to other households.

"LD 535 - An Act To Allow the Temporary Placement of Structures to Protect Property from Natural Disasters"


This bill allows an owner or occupier of a property to erect a temporary structure on the property without a permit to protect the property from a natural disaster, occurrence or event. The structure must be removed as soon as practicable within 7 months of its completion. A support or substructure for the structure may remain if the support or substructure does not interfere with any natural element or process.

"LD 590 - An Act To Establish a Wellness Tax Credit"


This bill provides a tax credit to employers of 20 or fewer employees for the expense of developing, instituting and maintaining wellness programs for their employees in the amount of $100 per employee, up to a maximum of $2,000. A wellness program includes programs for behavior modification, such as smoking cessation programs, equipping and maintaining an exercise facility and providing incentive awards to employees who exercise regularly. The tax credit is paid for with funds from the Fund for a Healthy Maine.

"LD 598 - An Act To Protect Private Enterprise from Tax-subsidized Competition by Imposing Requirements on Certain Postsecondary Institutions"


This bill requires that state-supported postsecondary institutions obtain the same licenses, certification and registrations required of a private corporation or business that does not receive state financial assistance if the postsecondary institution competes with a private corporation or business that does not receive state financial assistance and obtain a seller's registration certificate.

"LD 618 - An Act To Reduce Income Tax on Capital Gains"


This bill excludes from both the individual and corporate income tax 1/2 of net long-term capital gains.

"LD 634 - An Act To Create a Mandatory Sentence for Repeat Offenders of Sex Offenses against Victims under 12 Years of Age"


This bill requires a court to sentence a person convicted of committing a sex offense against a child under 12 years of age for a second or subsequent time to a term of imprisonment of at least 25 years, none of which may be suspended.

"LD 647 - An Act To Provide Tax Relief for Retired Veterans Operating Businesses in Maine"


This bill provides an income tax deduction for 50% of military retirement benefits for a veteran who operates a business in the State with at least one employee who is not related to the veteran.

"LD 661 - A Resolve, To Provide Equitable Tolls on the Maine Turnpike"


This resolve requires the Maine Turnpike Authority, beginning January 1, 2010, to implement a method of toll collecting that levies a standard and equal cost per mile for the miles driven on the Maine Turnpike by drivers using a commuter pass, also known as an E-Z Pass. Failure to do so will result in the rollback of turnpike tolls to the schedules used in fiscal year 2007-08, which must remain in effect until such time as the Maine Turnpike Authority demonstrates to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over transportation matters that the standard and equal cost per mile driven rate for drivers using a commuter pass has been implemented.

"LD 665 - An Act To Enhance Safety on Maine's Bridges"


This bill prohibits a pedestrian from loitering or remaining, without right, on a bridge that has no sidewalk. A person who violates the prohibition commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $75 and not more than $100 may be adjudged for the first violation, a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500 may be adjudged for a 2nd violation and a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000 may be adjudged for a 3rd or subsequent violation. This prohibition is modeled in part on a similar provision for railroad track and railroad bridge safety.

"LD 681 - An Act To Lower the Cost of State Government in the Departments under the Purview of the Joint Standing Committee on State and Local Government"


This bill eliminates one Director of Leased Space position and 9 Public Service Manager positions within the General Government Service Center, Security and Employment Service Center, Natural Resources Service Center and Department of Health and Human Services Service Center. It also eliminates 4 Governor's Special Assistant positions.

"LD 684 - An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Finance the Acquisition of Land and Interest in Land for Public Land and Water Access, Conservation, Wildlife and Fish Habitats, Outdoor Recreation Including Hunting and Fishing and Farmland Preservation and To Access Matching Contributions from Public and Private Sources"


The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $87,500,000, will be used to recapitalize the Land for Maine's Future program over 4 years to continue the State's land conservation efforts, leveraging a minimum of $43,750,000 in required matching funds.

"LD 692 - A Resolve, Directing the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources To Develop Best Management Practices for Poultry Production"


This resolve directs the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources to develop best management practices for poultry production and adopt rules to allow the Maine quality trademark to be used on poultry products.

"LD 698 - An Act To Allow School Budget Validation Referenda To Be Held on a Saturday" (Emergency)


This bill allows school budget validation referendum votes for regional school units to be held on Saturday.

"LD 701 - An Act To Fund the Screening and Early Detection Elements of the Statewide Cancer Plan"


This bill provides funding for a portion of the comprehensive cancer screening, detection and prevention program by providing an ongoing appropriation from the Fund for a Healthy Maine.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"LD 757 - An Act To Improve the Transparency of Certain Hospitals"


This bill makes medical organizations that receive over $250,000 annually in public funds for medical services subject to the freedom of access laws.

"LD 762 - A Resolve, To Increase Reporting Transparency in State Government"


This resolve requires that, when state agencies provide to Legislators documents that contain complex calculations, they must provide them in Microsoft Excel format or a compatible format according to specific requirements.

"LD 787 - An Act To Provide an Additional Source of Revenue for the Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents"


This bill provides that, beginning in fiscal year 2011-12, 10% of growth in sales and use tax and income tax would be transferred to the Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents to be available for tax relief.

"LD 788 - An Act To Aid Municipalities and the Unorganized Territory in the Reduction of Property Taxes"


This bill provides that, beginning in fiscal year 2010-11, 10% of sales tax revenue growth, which is the increase in sales tax revenue for that fiscal year over the amount of revenue generated in fiscal year 2010-11, must be returned to the municipality or unorganized territory where the growth occurred. The municipality or unorganized territory must use the amount received to reduce property tax levies.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"LD 820 - An Act To Limit Smoking in Outdoor Dining Areas"


This bill prohibits smoking in outdoor eating areas until 10:00 p.m.

"LD 839 - An Act To Authorize an Alternative Calculation of the Property Growth Factor for Municipalities with Exempt Personal Property"


This bill authorizes a municipality that has a significant amount of personal property in its tax base to include the value of newly introduced personal property in the calculation of the municipality's property growth factor under the property tax limitation system even though that newly introduced personal property may be business equipment that is exempt from property taxation.

"LD 840 - A Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Control Property Tax Increases"


This resolution proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to limit increases in the valuation of property to the amount of inflation except that new property, improvements to property and property that changes ownership must be valued at just value in the first year of assessment.

"LD 861 - An Act Concerning Deductibles for Underground Oil Storage Facilities and Tanks"


This bill exempts from the conditional deductible requirement all nonconforming underground facilities and tanks that were removed prior to the enactment of the conditional deductible requirement.

"LD 898 - An Act To Amend the Law Pertaining to Permanently Relooseed Funds of Municipal Public Libraries"


This bill allows the governing board of a municipal public library to spend the dividend and interest income of an endowment fund, even if the fair value of the endowment fund is less than the historic dollar value of the endowment fund.

"LD 992 - An Act To Increase Highway Safety by Requiring Daytime Headlight Use"


This bill requires that the driver of a motor vehicle manufactured after 2010 use headlights any time the motor vehicle is operated on a way. The bill also adds a provision allowing enforcement of the mandatory headlights provision only when a vehicle is stopped for a suspected violation of another law.

"LD 1052 - An Act To Allow the Use of Net Metering for Energy Production by Consumers"


This bill defines "net metering" as a service under which electricity produced by a customer is delivered to the customer's transmission and distribution utility and the transmission and distribution utility offsets the value of that electricity from the electricity provided to the customer by the transmission and distribution utility. This bill requires a transmission and distribution utility to offer this service to a customer who produces alternative or renewable energy and pay the customer the wholesale rate for electricity for any credit owed the customer from the net metering annually.

"LD 1077 - A Resolve, To Establish the Commission To Establish The Maine Academy of Living Treasures"


This resolve establishes the Commission To Study Establishing The Maine Academy of Living Treasures to review and establish the groundwork to institute the Maine Academy of Living Treasures to be composed of citizens from the State who exemplify the highest levels of skill and craft in the arts and humanities. The commission shall issue a report describing the types of recognition to be given to each member of the academy and academy member responsibilities to the Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature.

"LD 1088 - An Act To Modernize the Tax Laws and Provide over $75,000,000 to Residents of the State in Tax Relief"


This bill reforms the State's tax structure and reduces the burden of taxes on residents of the State. The bill contains the following provisions.
Part A makes fundamental changes to simplify and reduce the burden of the State's income tax and create an income tax that is intended to be more beneficial to investment and economic growth in the State. The current structure of 4 tax brackets, personal exemptions and deductions is replaced by a flat rate of 6.5% on all taxable income. The progressivity of the current income tax is maintained through a household credit that alleviates the impact of the 6.5% rate on low-income and middle-income households. The alternative minimum tax on individuals is abolished.
Part B broadens the sales tax base by including certain services, including certain amusement, entertainment and recreation services; installation, repair and maintenance services; personal property services; transportation and courier services; and long distance telephone service. Part B also changes the point of imposition of sales tax related to leased property from the sale of that property to the leasing business to the lease payments by the consumer. Part B also increases the sales tax on prepared food and lodging to 8.5% and the sales tax on rentals of automobiles of less than one year to 15%.
Part C changes the real estate transfer tax by providing that residences with a value greater than $500,000 will be taxed at 1% on the value of the residence that exceeds $500,000 with the full increase accruing to the General Fund.

"LD 1099 - A Resolve, Directing the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife To Conduct a Study To Identify All Publicly Owned Inland and Coastal Water Access Sites"


This resolve requires the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to contract with outside experts to conduct a study of all publicly owned inland and coastal water access sites, including walk-in and watercraft launching sites, to create a map of all sites and to identify the public's access opportunities and rights at each site.

"LD 1148 - An Act To Designate Sales Tax Holiday Weekends"


This bill provides an exemption from the sales tax for all items sold on Columbus Day weekend in October. The bill also sets out exemptions to the sales tax holiday weekend. The bill requires the Director of the Bureau of Revenue Services within the Department of Administrative and Financial Services to report to the State Controller the amount of sales tax unpaid, as well as revenue raised from personal and corporate income taxes and other sources as a result of the sales tax holiday weekend. The Bureau of Revenue Services and the Maine Merchants Association shall consult and present recommendations to the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation for 2 sales tax holiday weekends for the year 2010 and beyond. The Joint Standing Committee on Taxation has authority to submit legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature pertaining to the dates that are selected for the sales tax holiday weekends.

"LD 1149 - An Act To Amend the Veterans Homestead Exemption To Include Certain Medal Winners"


Current law provides a $6,000 property tax exemption to veterans of certain wars or conflicts or who were awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal once those veterans have reached 62 years of age or receive any form of pension or compensation from the United States Government for total disability as a veteran.
This bill adds to the list of veterans eligible to receive the property tax exemption those soldiers who were awarded the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, which is authorized for soldiers who deployed abroad for service in the Global War on Terrorism Operations on or after September 11, 2001, the Iraq Campaign Medal, which is authorized for soldiers who deployed to Iraq in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on or after March 19, 2003 or the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, which is authorized for soldiers who deployed to Afghanistan in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom on or after September 11, 2001.
This bill also removes the requirement that the veteran attain the age of 62 before being eligible to receive the property tax exemption.

"LD 1227 - An Act To Equalize the Regional Salary Cost Index under the School Funding Formula"


This bill requires that, beginning in fiscal year 2010-11, the regional adjustment to the salary and benefits costs of teachers and other school personnel that is based on labor market areas in the State must be 1.0 for all labor market areas in the State.

"LD 1272 - An Act To Establish an Income Tax Credit for the Purchase of Certain Wood-burning Boilers and Stoves"


This bill extends the income tax credit for pollution-reducing boilers and furnace systems to include wood and pellet stoves and permits individuals as well as businesses to take the credit. It also repeals the provision that would have eliminated this credit on December 31, 2009.

"LD 1296 - An Act To Strengthen the Job Creation Through Educational Opportunity Program"


This bill amends the definition of "accredited Maine junior college, college or university" to include that the institution must have regional accreditation. The bill defines the terms "financial aid package" and "registration." It repeals the definition for "opportunity contract." The bill requires the President of the Maine Community College System and the Chancellor of the University of Maine System to publish and disseminate to the Department of Education and all accredited Maine junior colleges, colleges and universities the average in-state tuition and mandatory fees. The bill requires the Department of Education to determine benchmark loan payments. The bill changes the eligibility criteria of participation in the Job Creation Through Educational Opportunity Program. The bill also sets out how the program is to be administered by establishing an electronic registration system. The bill directs all institutions to file a report with the Department of Education by February 1, 2010 and February 1, 2011 on how the program is working. The bill also requires certain agencies to promote the program in existing educational opportunity outreach efforts. The bill amends the law that deals with the tax credit for educational opportunities to reflect the changes that were made to the program.

"LD 1306 - An Act To Require Interscholastic Athletic Organizations To Comply with Freedom of Access Laws"


This bill requires an interscholastic athletic organization that is incorporated in this State, such as the Maine Principals’ Association, to comply with the freedom of access laws, such as having public meetings and making its records available to the public. If the Secretary of State determines that the corporation is not complying, the Secretary of State is allowed to commence dissolution proceedings against that corporation.

"LD 1320 - An Act To Ensure the Availability of Alcohol-free Motor Fuels"


This bill requires a retail dealer of gasoline and a distributor of gasoline to offer for sale or use nonethanol-blended unleaded premium grade gasoline.

"LD 1337 - An Act To Protect Maine Citizens and Franchised New Motor Vehicle Dealers" (Emergency)


This bill provides protections to franchised new motor vehicle dealers against losses caused by unreasonable terminations by manufacturers.

"LD 1344 - A Resolve, To Authorize a Pilot Project on Ranked Choice Voting"


This resolve establishes a 2-year pilot project overseen by the Secretary of State that involves ranked choice voting to determine a majority winner in municipal elections with 3 or more candidates. The pilot project will involve up to 10 municipalities selected by the Secretary of State to implement ranked choice voting in municipal elections that are held at a different time than a statewide election, are secret ballot elections and are for offices in which only one candidate is being selected. The ranked choice voting ballot allows the voter to rank in descending order of preference the voter's 2nd and subsequent choices for office after marking the voter's first choice for office. If, after the initial round of voting there is not a majority winner, the candidate with the least amount of votes is eliminated with all choices behind that candidate moved up in preference on each ballot. A 2nd and subsequent rounds of voting are held using this process until a candidate receives a majority of votes for the office. For purposes of the rights of political parties, the amount of votes a candidate of a political party receives in the first round of tabulation is considered the amount of votes that candidate received in the election for that office. This resolve directs the Secretary of State to submit a report concerning the pilot project and any recommended legislation to the 125th Legislature.

"LD 1438- An Act To Permit Charter Schools in Maine"


This bill establishes a process to authorize the establishment of charter schools in the State.

"LD 1441 - An Act To Amend and Clarify the Application of the Laws Regarding Severance Pay"


This bill makes the following changes to the laws governing severance pay.
1. It makes changes to definitions.
2. It provides that certain provisions of the labor laws that apply to the payment of wages and penalties for the nonpayment of wages also apply to severance pay.
3. It provides a presumption that whenever an employer lays off 100 or more employees at a covered establishment, that layoff constitutes a termination of a part of that covered establishment.
4. It provides that severance pay may be paid from the Maine Wage Assurance Fund if an employer fails to timely pay severance pay.

"LD 1524 - An Act To Ensure Equity in Unemployment Compensation Claims"


This bill addresses the situation of 2 employers who both lay off the same employee within 30 days of each other. The bill requires that both employers be considered the claimant's last employer for purposes of the laws governing unemployment compensation.

"LD 1574 - An Act To Amend the Rights and Liabilities of the Supervisory Physician of a Physician Assistant"


This bill amends the rights and liabilities of military force members to provide immunity to the supervisory physician of a physician assistant regardless of the duty status of the supervisory physician.

"LD 1576 - An Act To Improve the Ability of the Commissioner of Corrections To Respond in an Emergency"


This bill provides for the establishment of departmentwide emergency response teams, such as hostage negotiation, tactical and canine teams, within the Department of Corrections.

"LD 1583 - An Act To Improve the Delivery of Community Corrections Services"


This bill provides that restitution orders for juvenile offenders be handled through the Department of Corrections just like the department handles orders for adult offenders.
This bill also provides that all repeat sexual assault offenders who are incarcerated must participate in a sex offender treatment program when requested by the department or have their probation revoked.
This bill also provides probation officers the ability to respond to violations of conditions of probation for probationers or of conditions of supervised release for sex offenders prohibiting contact with another person while the probationer or offender is incarcerated.

"LD 1598 - An Act To Strengthen the Laws against Illegal "Puppy Mill" Operators"


This bill strengthens the laws against animal cruelty by increasing the class of certain crimes from Class D crimes to Class C crimes when 25 or more animals are involved, authorizes the State to recover the cost of relocating animals as part of an animal cruelty case and adds probation as a sentencing option for Class D animal cruelty violations.

"LD 1626- An Act To Amend the Unemployment Compensation Laws Regarding Vacation Pay"


Under current law, an individual is disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation benefits for any week in which the individual receives, is entitled to receive or has received remuneration in the form of vacation pay. This bill removes that relooseion.

"LD 1635 - An Act To Avoid Unnecessary Removal of Land from the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law Program"


This bill provides a grace period that imposes a temporary suspension from taxation under the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law for landowners who fail to file the required statements every 10 years but are otherwise in compliance with the law. Current law requires the tax assessor to withdraw the land from taxation under the program and impose prescribed penalties after notifying the landowner and providing a period of 60 days for the landowner to respond to that notice. This bill provides that the parcel for taxation under the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law is suspended from the program for one year after the original due date of the required statements and that the parcel is taxed as if it were not eligible for taxation under the program but without applying the penalty provision. The bill allows the land to be returned to classification under the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law if the landowner provides the required statements before the end of the one-year suspension period. It requires that the penalty be assessed as if the parcel were withdrawn on the original due date of the required statements if the landowner fails to file the required statements and the land is no longer classified under the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law. The bill requires that if, during the suspension period, the parcel becomes ineligible for taxation under the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law for reasons other than failure to file the required statements, the parcel must be immediately withdrawn and a penalty assessed as if the suspension period had not applied.

"LD 1636 - An Act To Encourage Extended Stays in Maine Waters"


Under current law, watercraft that are not within the State for more than 75 days during the year are exempt from excise tax. This bill extends that time period from 75 to 90 days.

"LD 1637 - An Act To Change the Requirements for the Sales Tax Exemption for Snowmobile Trail Grooming Equipment"


This bill removes the requirement that a snowmobile club be a nonprofit organization in order to be eligible for the sales tax exemption for snowmobile trail grooming equipment.

"LD 1640 - An Act To Provide for the Safety of Maine Athletes"


This bill applies rules of the road for bicyclists to roller skiers.

"LD 1711 - An Act To Clarify the Status of Prisoners"


This bill includes in the minimum wage laws a provision relating to prisoners similar to that already in the workers' compensation laws, making it clear that prisoners are not considered employees unless they fit within one of the listed categories.

"LD 1716 - An Act To Expedite Rulemaking Concerning Agronomic Utilization of Sludge"


This bill amends the rule-making authority of the Board of Environmental Protection to eliminate the requirement for legislative approval prior to adoption of rules on the agronomic utilization of sludge.

"LD 1721 - An Act To Provide a Sales Tax Exemption for Commemorative Items Honoring Veterans"


This bill provides a state sales tax exemption for commemorative items honoring veterans serving in different conflicts sold by the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management, Bureau of Maine Veterans' Services.