What new laws take effect in Maine on Jan. 1? Doctors, surveyors and exterminators pay heed

Posted Dec. 31, 2013, at 2:59 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — While most new laws take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns, some are postponed until Jan. 1 of the following year. When that happens, it’s usually to give state agencies or other relevant groups time to prepare for the changes in statute.

On Wednesday, just four new laws will hit the books in Maine, on topics including health care cost disclosure, surveyor licensing, pest management and organ donation. The most significant change is that patients will be able to ask medical providers for a price list of common procedures.

Here is a list of the four new laws:

LD 990, An Act to Require Disclosure of Health Care Prices, requires health care practitioners — excluding pharmacists — to maintain a prices list of their most commonly provided procedures. Each practitioner must advise patients of the list’s availability and provide it when requested. The law also requires practitioners to provide patients with some data available through the Maine Health Data Organization.

LD 903, An Act to Enhance the Development and Implementation of Integrated Pest Management Programs, increases the pesticide registration fee from $150 to $160 and uses the additional revenue to fund an annual $135,000 grant for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The extension will use the funding to develop and deploy best techniques for pest management, with an emphasis on reducing the need for pesticide use.

LD 835, An Act to Improve Organ Donation Awareness, creates an option for Mainers applying for or renewing a driver’s license to check a box on the application and give $2 — or more — to a new Maine Organ and Tissue Donation Fund. Money in that account will be used to fund education and outreach about Maine’s organ donation program.

LD 1267, An Act to Recodify the Land Surveyor Licensing Laws, which clarified the rules and regulations regarding the certification of land surveyors, allowed for land surveyors in-training from other states to obtain similar trainee licenses in Maine.

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