Commission to Study
Public Health

Legislation

Membership

Agendas

Minutes

Mailing List

Staff

Legislation

CHAPTER 95

H.P. 363 - L.D. 471

Resolve, To Study Obesity and Methods To Decrease the
Cost of Health Care and Increase the Public Health



Sec. 1. Commission established. Resolved: That the Commission to Study Public Health, referred to in this resolve as "the commission," is established to study the causes of obesity and methods to decrease the cost of health care and increase the public health; and be it further

Sec. 2. Commission membership. Resolved: That the commission consists of 31 members appointed as follows:

1. Fourteen members appointed by the President of the Senate as follows:

A. Two Senators, at least one of whom serves on the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services;

B. Two representatives of nutrition or health advocacy organizations; and

C. One representative from each of the following organizations or professions:

(1) Secondary school administrators;

(2) A cancer society;



(3) A heart association;

(4) A diabetes association;

(5) An advocacy group for affordable health care;

(6) School health professionals;

(7) Physical education educators;

(8) The food industry;

(9) The Maine dairy industry; and

(10) A physical activity organization;


2. Fourteen members appointed by the Speaker of the House as follows:

A. Two members of the House of Representatives, at least one of whom serves on the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services; and

B. One representative from each of the following organizations or professions:

(1) An organization of school principals;

(2) An organization of allopathic physicians;

(3) A public health advocacy organization;

(4) Providers of oral health care;

(5) An organization of osteopathic doctors;

(6) Food service workers;

(7) Nurses;

(8) Health insurers;

(9) Dieticians;

(10) A parent-teacher organization;

(11) Maine bottlers and distributors of beverages; and

(12) A doctoral-level nutritionist;


3. The Attorney General or a designee;

4. The Commissioner of Education or a designee; and

5. The Commissioner of Human Services or a designee.

The Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Human Services or their designees serve as nonvoting members; and be it further

Sec. 3. Appointments; chairs; convening of commission. Resolved: That all appointments must be made no later than 30 days following the effective date of this resolve. The first-named Senate member and the first-named House of Representatives member shall serve as cochairs of the commission. The appointing authorities shall notify the Executive Director of the Legislative Council once all appointments have been completed. The cochairs shall convene the first meeting of the commission no later than 15 days after appointment of all members; and be it further

Sec. 4. Duties. Resolved: That the commission shall study obesity in the State and methods to decrease the cost of health care and improve the public health. The commission shall specifically include in its study:

1. An analysis of whether schools are meeting modern nutrition standards for school meals and food and drink offered on school property and, if not, an analysis of what strategies are available to encourage more nutritious offerings;

2. Options for the adoption of a nutrition pyramid, with emphasis on increased consumption of vegetables, whole grains, milk, beans, soy products and nuts;

3. An analysis of physical education standards in Maine schools from 1970 to the present, including a review of the Maine system of learning results and standards in other states. A review of general trends in Maine toward a less active and more sedentary lifestyle, including the contribution of these trends to the rising rates of obesity in the State and the nation and strategies for addressing physical activity issues, must be included in the analysis;

4. An analysis of whether advertising targeted at children is contributing to the rising rates of obesity in Maine and the nation and, if so, an analysis of possible strategies to address this issue;


5. Methods of encouraging healthy food purchasing by families using public benefit programs, including the possibility of requiring purchases of some healthy foods in public benefit programs;

6. An analysis of discrimination based on personal size, using the Michigan human rights law as an example and consulting with the Attorney General regarding legal issues;

7. An analysis of the potential savings in health care costs and decreases in lost work time from the creation of fitness centers in major centers of state employment and the savings over time from the fitness centers;

8. An analysis of whether food offered for sale in places of state employment contributes to the rising rate of obesity in Maine and whether food and drinks offered for sale in state institutions and buildings present a variety of healthy options, including 100% juices, nonfat milk, fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks. Possible strategies to address these issues must accompany the analysis; and

9. An analysis of the costs, benefits and potential savings of providing insurance or health coverage for obesity prevention and nutrition counseling for state employees, retirees and MaineCare enrollees and of providing health coverage by carriers licensed under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 24 or Title 24-A; and be it further

Sec. 5. Staff assistance. Resolved: That, upon approval from the Legislative Council, the Office of Policy and Legal Analysis shall provide necessary staffing services to the commission; and be it further

Sec. 6. Compensation. Resolved: That the legislative members of the commission are entitled to receive the legislative per diem, as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 3, section 2, and reimbursement for travel and other necessary expenses related to their attendance at meetings of the commission. Public members not otherwise compensated by their employers or other entities that they represent are entitled to receive reimbursement of necessary expenses and, upon a demonstration of financial hardship, a per diem equal to the legislative per diem for their attendance at authorized meetings of the commission; and be it further

Sec. 7. Report. Resolved: That the commission shall submit its report with any accompanying legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 121st Legislature by December 3, 2003. The commission is authorized to introduce a bill related to its


report to the Second Regular Session of the 121st Legislature. The report and legislation must have as goals improving public health, including cardiovascular health, decreasing rates of obesity, decreasing the cost of health care, increasing the physical activity of youth and increasing awareness of healthy eating choices; and be it further

Sec. 8. Extension. Resolved: That, if the commission requires a limited extension of time to complete its study and make its report, it may apply to the Legislative Council, which may grant an extension; and be it further

Sec. 9. Funding. Resolved: That the commission shall seek outside funds to fully fund all costs of the commission. If sufficient outside funding has not been received by August 15, 2003 to fully fund all costs of the commission, no meetings are authorized and no expenses of any kind may be incurred or reimbursed. Contributions to support the work of the commission may not be accepted from any party having a pecuniary or other vested interest in the outcome of the matters being studied. Any person, other than a state agency, desiring to make a financial or in-kind contribution must certify to the Legislative Council that it has no pecuniary or other vested interest in the outcome of the study. Such certification must be made in the manner prescribed by the Legislative Council. All contributions are subject to approval by the Legislative Council. All funds accepted must be forwarded to the Executive Director of the Legislative Council along with an accounting record that includes the amount of funds, the date the funds were received, from whom the funds were received and the purpose of and any limitation on the use of those funds. The Executive Director of the Legislative Council administers any funds received by the commission. The executive director shall notify the chairs of the commission when sufficient funding has been received; and be it further

Sec. 10. Appropriations and allocations. Resolved:
That the following appropriations and allocations are made.

LEGISLATURE

Commission to Study Public Health

Initiative: Allocates funds for the postage, printing, legislative per diem and other expenses of the commission.

Other Special Revenue Funds 2003-04 2004-05

Personal Services $880 $0


All Other 6,400 0

______

Other Special Revenue Funds Total $7,280 $0

Return to Top

Return to Public Health Study Page