Laws championed by Sen. Curry, including support for EMS departments, take effect

Posted: August 24, 2022 | Senator Curry

AUGUSTA — A series of laws sponsored and championed by Sen. Chip Curry, D-Belfast, that support Maine children, seniors, families and small businesses went into effect this month. Highlights include measures to support EMS departments, bolster foster care services, and strengthen the Child Welfare Ombudsman’s office.

“I am proud that we passed these important measures to help Maine’s families and local EMS departments thrive,” said Sen. Curry. “These new laws are made possible by the tireless work and feedback from folks in our communities. Listening to the real stories and ideas of Mainers is how we will continue to push our great state forward.”

Sen. Curry’s bill, LD 1859, “An Act to Establish the Maine Emergency Medical Services Community Grant Program,” received unanimous, bipartisan support in the Legislature and is now law. This new law establishes a grant program for communities to engage in a structured strategic planning process to consider current and alternative models for providing emergency medical services.

Another law sponsored by Sen. Curry, LD 1091, “An Act To Improve the Long-term Outcomes for Youth Transitioning from State Care by Raising the Upper Age Limit for Voluntary Support Eligibility,” allows those who turn 18 while in the care and custody of the state to opt to participate in care up through age 22, instead of age 20. This law will give these young adults more support as they age out of care and transition into adulthood.

Sen. Curry also supported a bill that codifies the Department of Health and Human Services’ practice of notifying the Child Welfare Ombudsman of any child fatality where a child welfare investigation had previously taken place. This law also strengthens the Ombudsman’s authority to hire additional staff at their discretion, extends the Ombudsman’s term from one to five years, ensures the Ombudsman continues to receive advance notice of any changes to state policy and increases the Ombudsman’s authority to hire additional staff.

Other laws championed by Sen. Curry that took effect this year include measures to combat high-energy prices, improve access to health care and prescription drugs, promote economic opportunity and support working families, seniors and veterans.

All non-emergency laws take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die unless otherwise specified. Emergency measures, including provisions adopted as a part of the supplemental budget, take effect immediately upon the governor’s signature.