Address Hunger, Support Maine Farms and Reduce Waste
|Sponsor:||Representative Craig Hickman, House 81|
|Bill #:||LD 1534|
UPDATE: This bill has been amended to have the Maine DEP establish a database of food waste recovery resources. It received an Ought to Pass as Amended report from the committee.
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.