Foundation

Maine U.S. Senatorial Candidate Spending Analysis – Shenna Bellows

Total Net Spending Agenda: $1,380.171 billion

 

Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure: $15.066 billion

A. Enforce Labeling Requirements for Foods Containing Genetically Modified Organism [GMO]:

“We can protect the environment and the economy by … enforcing strong GMO labeling standards.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=4#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: As of July 2014, three states – Maine, Vermont, and Connecticut – had passed legislation requiring food manufacturers to label products containing GMOs. At the federal level, related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 809 (113th Congress), the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act. The bill would impose new regulations to require that genetically engineered food and ingredients are labeled accordingly. A cost estimate is currently not available but given its regulatory nature, there would be compliance costs for producers of GMO’s and the potential for increased administrative and enforcement costs for the Food and Drug Administration.

http://blogs.wsj.com/numbers/which-states-are-considering-labels-for-gmo-foods-1551/

H.R. 4432 (113th Congress), the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014, would also require food containing bioengineered food and ingredients to be labeled. Additionally, it would mandate developers of bioengineered organisms to notify federal agencies before selling them across state lines. A cost estimate is currently not available.

B. Expand Broadband Internet Access:

“We should have high-speed broadband Internet access in every corner of this country, and I will make that a top priority as Maine’s next Senator.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=0#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear whether Mrs. Bellows is advocating for new federal spending or would use tax credits to incentivize further broadband development.

Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1685 (113th Congress), the Broadband Adoption Act of 2013, a bill to reform and modernize the Universal Service Fund Lifeline Assistance Program. The bill would establish a program to promote the adoption of broadband Internet service for all low-income households. The Federal Communications Commission provided a cost estimate for a previous version of the bill, H.R. 2163, in the 112th Congress, at $25 million for the first year.

C. Expand Heating Assistance Programs:

“I will be a strong advocate for expansion of … federal funding for … heating assistance programs that protect our friends and neighbors.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=7#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: The federal government currently provides energy-related assistance for low income Americans by offering grants to states as part of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program received about $3.1 billion in FY 2015 funding in the latest Continuing Resolution.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/resource/liheap-initial-cr-release-of-block-grant-funds-to-states-and-territories-2015

Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 3860 (113th Congress), the Low Income Heating Improvement Act. The bill would amend the formulas used to distribute heating assistance grants through LIHEAP, prioritizing states that routinely face cold weather conditions. However, the bill would not increase federal outlays or “expand” the program, as Mrs. Bellows appears to be advocating in her statement, though it is likely that Maine would receive a larger portion of total LIHEAP funding if a new formula was used.

http://newny23rd.com/2014/01/07/low-income-heating-improvement-act/

D. Expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Food Assistance Programs:

“I will be a strong advocate for expansion of SNAP, commonly referred to as food stamps, and federal funding for food … assistance programs that protect our friends and neighbors.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=7#qt-issues

Cost: $2.223 billion (first-year cost).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1635 (113th Congress), the Extend Not Cut SNAP Benefits Act. The bill would extend higher benefits payments originally enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Office of Management and Budget included an outlay estimate in the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2014, Summary Tables, page 202.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2014-BUD/pdf/BUDGET-2014-BUD-29.pdf

E. Help Small Business Development:

“As Senator, I will advance access to capital for small and micro businesses to promote the next generation of entrepreneurs. Small businesses comprise 60% of Maine’s jobs, but too often, it is difficult or impossible for small business owners to access the capital they need to start up.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=0#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 2285 (113th Congress), the Small Business Access to Capital Act of 2014. The bill would extend the State Small Business Credit Initiative for an additional eight years and award new financial incentives to small businesses and manufacturers. A cost estimate is currently not available. It is unclear what type of capital access (new loans or loan guarantees, grants, or incentives for private borrowers) Mrs. Bellows would support in the Senate.

F. Increase Financial Sector Regulations:

“It’s time for overdue financial reforms, including a 21st-century Glass-Steagall Act to make sure banks help communities again instead of gambling with their money.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=0#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1282 (113th Congress), the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2013. The bill would prohibit insured depository institutions from owning or affiliating with any or all portions of an insurance company, securities agency, or swaps entity and require new regulations to be established to ensure the separation between commercial and investment banking. A cost estimate is currently not available.

G. Mandate Paid Sick Leave:

“I am also in favor of federal legislation mandating paid sick leave … .”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=9#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: While the Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees unpaid leave for serious illness, there is no federal regulation regarding paid leave, instead it is up to state and local governments to set policy. Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 3999 (113th Congress), the Family and Medical Leave Enhancement Act of 2014. The bill would require employers to grant leave for workers to care for a family member who has a serious health condition. A cost estimate is currently not available for possible expansion of current benefits for  federal employees under this proposal.

Another bill introduced is S. 1810 (113th Congress), the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act of 2013. The bill would establish a federal benefit program for family and medical leave, to be administered by a new office within the Social Security Administration. The new benefits would be financed by a 0.2 percent increase in payroll  taxes, which, based on Office of Management and Budget figures, NTUF determined would increase spending by as much as $11.2 billion over five years.

H. Provide Job Training to the Elderly:

“I will support job training programs like the AARP Senior Community Service Employment Program … to help adults 55 and older get the job training and assistance they need to find good work.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=7#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1028 (113th Congress), the Older Americans Act Amendments of 2013. Title V of the bill would change the eligibility and definitions of those participating in the Older American Community Service Employment program. A cost estimate is currently not available.

I. Spend More on Transportation Infrastructure:

“… [W]e need to invest in roads, bridges, rail and a modern public transportation system.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=0#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear from her statement whether Mrs. Bellows supports maintaining current funding for transportation infrastructure or would seek to increase spending. According to the Department of Transportation, the Highway Trust Fund, which is the primary method for funding surface transportation projects, spent $45 billion in FY 2014. In August, 2014, CBO projected budget deficits beginning in FY 2015 ($2 billion) and accelerating for the foreseeable future ($162 billion FY2015-2019).

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/highwaytrustfund/

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/45416-TransportationScoring.pdf

http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43884-2014-08-HighwayTrustFund.pdf

Related legislation has been introduced in Congress to establish a federal infrastructure bank to finance additional transportation projects. In September, 2011, the Obama Administration proposed the American Jobs Act. The legislation was introduced in the 112th Congress as S. 1549 (related versions of the proposal have been introduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 2821, the American Jobs Act of 2013, and H.R. 3939, the Invest in the United States Act of 2014). Title II of the American Jobs Act would establish an American Infrastructure Financing Authority to provide federal loans and loan guarantees to certain transportation, water, and energy projects. A CBO estimate is available.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/08/fact-sheet-american-jobs-act http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s1549.pdf

The bill would appropriate $10 billion to the Financing Authority to cover subsidy and administrative costs related to loan operations and loan guarantees. The subsidy cost represents the amount of a loan that is not paid back. CBO reported that related government-backed loans and loan guarantees for infrastructure projects have a subsidy cost of approximately 10 to 15 percent of the loan amount. If the Authority received the full $10 billion subsidy amount, it could finance $60 billion to $100 billion in loans. CBO estimated the outlay cost of the infrastructure bank would be $1.51 billion over five years and $6.91 billion over ten years.

J. Extend Emergency Unemployment Benefits:

“[Shenna supports] a restoration of the [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009’s] full 99-week benefits for the long-term unemployed. … I support [the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act] because it's the best way to sustain families while they put their lives back together and find new jobs.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/news/bellows-supports-new-senate-bill-extend-unemployment-insurance-calls-collins-offer-public

Cost: $12.84 billion ($25.68 billion over two years).

Source: CBO estimate for H.R. 3546 (113th Congress), the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2013.  The bill would extend expanded unemployment benefits until January 1, 2015.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/hr3546.pdf

Note: Until the 2008 recession, unemployment benefits were available to individuals for up to 26 weeks. Compensation was subsequently extended 11 times to where unemployed recipients can receive payments up to 47 weeks. At the end of 2013, the latest extension expired.

http://www.ntu.org/governmentbytes/detail/taxpayers-tab-issue-42-4

K. Support Intergenerational Engagement Programs:

“I will work to strengthen and expand intergenerational engagement in our communities through support for the Corporation for National [and Community] Service and programs like Senior Corps, ENcorps and RSVP.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=7#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: According to the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2015, Appendix: Other Independent Agencies, page 1274, the Corporation for National and Community Service spent approximately $792 million in FY 2014 on programs including the National Senior Service Corps and the Volunteer Generation Fund.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/oia.pdf

Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 4054 (113th Congress), the Promoting national Service and Reducing Unemployment Act. The bill would make additional funding available to the Corporation to expand AmeriCorps (a program to provide government-funded volunteers to fill community serve roles at nonprofit organizations, schools, and other community groups across the country) by over 400,000 workers at a cost of $7.9 billion over five years. The text of the bill authorizes the spending.

It is also unclear how Mrs. Bellows would expand the Corporation, if at all. Funding for the Corporation was reauthorized under H.R. 1388 (111th Congress), the Serve America Act.

L. Vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act:

“I strongly support the Paycheck Fairness Act … .”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=9#qt-issues

Cost: $3 million ($15 million over five years).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 84 (113th Congress), the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill would enhance regulations pertaining to equal pay. The text of the bill authorizes $15 million for compliance training, a grant program for negotiation skills training for girls and women, and for research, education and outreach. NTUF assumes the outlays would occur over five years.

 

Education, Science, and Research: $21.981 billion

A. Build New School Buildings:

“ … [B]uilding new [schools] where they’re needed, … will mean more opportunities for students to succeed no matter where they live or how much money their family earns. … It’s time to invest in education at the local level again. Public schools … need to be supported.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=3#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear how much funding Mrs. Bellows would propose to build new schools.

B. Establish Universal Prekindergarten:

“We should invest more thoroughly in universal early childhood education.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=3#qt-issues

Cost: $5.1 billion ($25.9 billion over five years)

Source: According to the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2015, Summary Tables, Table S-9, President Obama proposed expanding pre-k access to all four year-old children (particularly those in low- and moderate-income households) along with the extension and expansion of home visitation programs, designed to help families pay for in-home learning assistance. NTUF used figures for the program as it would be in full effect and assumes that Mrs. Bellows’ proposal would be implemented based on the President’s proposal.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/tables.pdf

Two other bills have been introduced in the 113th Congress:

  • H.R. 866, the Universal Prekindergarten and Early Childhood Education Act of 2013, which would establish a state grant program to establish universal prekindergarten in public schools and public charter schools. The program would include children who are ages three through five. NTUF was able to score the bil as a $25.934 billion spending increase over five years using information from the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2015, Summary Tables, page 177.
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/tables.pdf
  • S. 502, the Prepare All Kids Act of 2013, which would establish a similar universal prekindergarten state grant program for students, aged three to five. NTUF scored the bill based on the text of a previous version, H.R. 2859, from the 110th Congress, at a $35 billion cost over five years.

C. Fully Fund Public Schools:

“Fully funding our schools … will mean more opportunities for students to succeed no matter where they live or how much money their family earns. … It’s time to invest in education at the local level again. Public schools … need to be supported.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=3#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear whether Mrs. Bellows is calling for an end to decreases in education-related funding or for Department of Education programs to be fully funded at budget authority levels. Because of this lack of specificity, NTUF is unable to determine the costs associated with her statement.

If Mrs. Bellows means to fully fund education programs at budget authority levels, two bills have been introduced to do so, which together would total a $124.98 billion spending increase over five years:

  • Traditional Schools: $14.82 billion ($74.102 billion over five years). Related legislation was introduced in the form of H.R. 864 (112th Congress), the Keep Our Promise to America’s Children and Teachers (PACT) Act. The bill would make additional appropriations to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. NTUF used budget authority figures from the bill that were adjusted for inflation and FY 2014 figures from the Department of Education budget.
  • Special Needs Schools: $10.176 billion ($50.880 billion over five years). Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 4136 (113th Congress), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Full Funding Act. The bill would increase appropriations to authorized levels. NTUF scored the bill based on Department of Education budget figures.

D. Hire Additional Teachers:

“ … [H]iring more teachers will mean more opportunities for students to succeed no matter where they live or how much money their family earns. … It’s time to invest in education at the local level again. Public schools … need to be supported.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=3#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note:  Due to the lack of specificity, NTUF is unable to determine how many teachers Mrs. Bellows would support hiring to supplement current the current teacher workforce.

Related legislation was introduced in the form of S. 1549 (112th Congress), the American Jobs Act. Title II would authorize $30 billion to prevent teacher layoffs and create additional education-related jobs. A CBO estimate is available.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s1549.pdf

E. Allow Refinancing of College Student Loans:

“This legislation [Bank on Students’ Emergency Loan Assistance Act] is a critical first step to lifting the burden of unprecedented student debt , and we need to do even more..”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/news/press-conference-bellows-urges-support-senator-warren%E2%80%99s-emergency-student-loan-refinancing-bill

Cost: $16.9 billion ($50.6 billion over three years).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 2292 (113th Congress), the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. The bill would allow individuals to refinance their federal or private student loans into new federal direct loans. A CBO cost estimate is available.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s2292.pdf

F. Oppose School Vouchers:

“I oppose voucher programs that siphon public money to private or religious institutions that don’t level the playing field and often exclude the students who most need a chance at a young age.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=3#qt-issues

Cost: -$19 million (first-year savings).

Source: Currently, the only federal program that provides educational vouchers is the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP). In 2011, the House of Representatives and the Obama Administration agreed to renew DCOSP until 2016 and adopt measures of H.R. 471 (112th Congress), the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act. The bill also expanded the program to an additional 85 students, at an additional cost of approximately $1 million. CBO estimated that DCOSP would cost $20 million annually. According to the Department of Education, the program spent $19 million in FY 2013.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/121xx/doc12104/hr471.pdf

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/dcchoice/funding.html

Related legislation has also been introduced in the form of S. 1094 (113th Congress), the Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013. Section 1116 of Title I Part A would prohibit federal education funds from being used for vouchers under state or local alternative school improvement strategies. However, CBO did not identify new spending or savings associated with this prohibition in their estimate of the bill.

G. Oppose Teaching Requirements:

“I also oppose the overly onerous new testing requirements mandated by the federal government. No Child Left Behind, supported by Republican Susan Collins, was a huge mistake. It’s time to invest in education at the local level again.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=3#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: The extent to which Mrs. Bellows would eliminate testing requirements, and the effect that might have on conditional federal funding, is unclear.

 

Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment: Unknown

A. Institute a New Permitting Process:

“I agree with the rest of our Maine congressional delegation that we need a new permitting process and full environmental review before any of Maine’s resources are put at risk.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=4#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear exactly how Mrs. Bellows would reform the federal permitting process. It is also unclear whether or not the reforms in the bill would satisfy Mrs. Bellows’ definition of a “full environmental review.”

In the 113th Congress, two bills are supported by Maine’s two Senators:

  • S. 1472, the Strengthening Congressional Oversight of Regulatory actions for Efficiency (SCORE) Act, which would establish a new division within the Congressional Budget Office for assessing the impact of federal rules and regulations. The Brookings Institution scored the measure as a $75 million five-year cost.
  • http://www.brookings.edu/research/testimony/2014/04/30-cutting-red-tape-better-analysis-greenstone
  • S. 1029, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2013, which would require greater review from agencies and public input when considering major regulatory rules. A previous version of the bill was scored by CBO as a $67 million increase over five years.
  • http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/hr3010.pdf

B. Invest in Alternative Energy Technologies:

“We should also invest in renewable energy – in solar, properly sited wind, tidal, geothermal, biodiesel and biomass – to reduce our domestic energy costs, confront climate change and create good-paying jobs.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=0#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: NTUF is unable to estimate possible costs due to the lack of specificity in Mrs. Bellows’ proposal. Such initiative could receive federal support either through tax credits or outlays in the form of grants, loans, or loan guarantees.

  • Solar: Unknown. According to the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2015, Appendix: Department of Energy, page 396, the Department of Energy (DOE) spent $293 million in FY 2014 on solar energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities. Approximately 18 bills related to solar energy have been introduced in the Senate during the 113th Congress.
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/doe.pdf
  • Wind: Unknown. According to the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2015, Appendix: Department of Energy, page 396, the Department of Energy (DOE) spent $99 million in FY 2014 on wind energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities. Approximately 13 bills related to wind energy have been introduced in the Senate during the 113th Congress.
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/doe.pdf
  • Tidal: Unknown. According to the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2015, Appendix: Department of Energy, page 396, the Department of Energy (DOE) spent $66 million in FY 2014 on water power (which includes tidal projects) energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities. Approximately nine bills related to tidal energy have been introduced in the Senate during the 113th Congress.
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/doe.pdf
  • Geothermal: Unknown. According to the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2015, Appendix: Department of Energy, page 396, the Department of Energy (DOE) spent $51 million in FY 2014 on geothermal power energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities. Approximately 13 bills related to geothermal energy have been introduced in the Senate during the 113th Congress.
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/doe.pdf
  • Biodiesel and Biomass: Unknown. According to the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2015, Appendix: Department of Energy, page 396, the Department of Energy (DOE) spent $265 million in FY 2014 on bioenergy power (which includes biodiesel and biomass projects) energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities. No bills related to biodiesel or biomass energy have been introduced in the Senate during the 113th Congress.
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/doe.pdf

C. Limit Carbon Emissions:

“… we must pursue strong limits on carbon emissions.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=4#qt-issues

“Shenna supports the Obama administration limits on carbon emissions. She is a strong advocate for clean air protections.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=10#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: In June, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules that would cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants by 30 percent by 2030. A cost estimate for the regulations is not currently available, though the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has estimated that they could decrease GDP by as much as $51 billion per year.

http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-proposed-rule

https://www.uschamber.com/press-release/energy-institute-report-finds-potential-new-epa-carbon-regulations-will-damage-us

Among other proposals, legislators have proposed two methods: imposing a carbon tax or establishing a cap-and-trade system.

  • Carbon Tax: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 332 (113th Congress), the Climate Protection Act of 2013. The bill would impose an annual $20-per-ton tax on every ton of carbon dioxide or methane and the fee would increase by 5.6 percent over the next ten years. The tax would only be lifted when an international treaty would levy similar fees or limits on all greenhouse gases emitters. Revenues, estimated by CBO to raise $1.2 trillion over ten years, would be used to finance advanced technology programs and loans to improve energy efficiency. The text of the bill authorizes $20.5 billion in annual spending.
  • http://www.sanders.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/021413-2pager.pdf
  • http://www.ntu.org/foundation/taxpayerstab/4-26.html
  • Cap-and-Trade: Related legislation was also introduced in the form of S. 2191 (110th Congress), the America’s Climate Security Act of 2007. The bill would establish a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. A CBO estimate is available. CBO determined that the bill would increase spending by $56.48 billion over five years. A CBO estimate for H.R. 2454 (111th Congress), a later version of S. 2191, scored the bill as a $257.7 billion increase over five years.
  • http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/91xx/doc9120/s2191.pdf
  • http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/hr2454.pdf

D. Protect Against Unsafe Products:

“Shenna strongly supports a national Kids Safe Products Act, modeled on Maine’s law.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=10#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Signed into law in Maine in 2008, the Kid-Safe Products Act imposed new regulations on 1,700 chemicals that are found in products intended for or used in the presence of children.

http://www.preventharm.org/Images/135/ChildProdLaw.pdf

At the federal level, related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 696 (113th Congress), the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013. The bill would identify, limit, and educate people on the dangers of certain chemicals used in consumer goods and in public spaces. Agencies would also be required to review the safety and affects of substances and to identify safer alternatives. CBO scored the 2011 version of the bill as a $128 million cost over five years. It is unclear if Mrs. Bellows would support S. 696 because it does not focus primarily on child safety.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s847.pdf

E. Require a Full Environmental Review of the Keystone XL Pipeline:

“It’s important that there be a full permit review by the State Department to fully examine the environmental consequences of reversing the pipeline to transport tar sands oil. I … [call] on the State Department to engage in a full review … .”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/news/bellows-calls-full-environmental-review

Cost: Unknown.

Note: In January, 2014, the Department of State released its final Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline project, which is an 875-mile project from Morgan, Montana to Steele City, Nebraska. The report concluded that building and operating the pipeline would likely not alter global greenhouse gas emissions but that denying or delaying the project would not block the development of tar sand oil in Alberta, Canada. The project has been under review since 2008.

http://keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov/documents/organization/221135.pdf

In terms of costs for federal environmental impact statements and studies, the Government Accountability Office found that the Department of Energy spent an average of $6.6 million for impact statements between 2003 and 2012. It is unclear whether or not the federal government will conduct further studies without legislative or Presidential approval.

http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/662546.pdf

F. Support Sustainable and Organic Local Agriculture:

“We can protect the environment and the economy by supporting sustainable and organic local agriculture … .”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=4#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unknown how Mrs. Bellows would support sustainable and organic local agriculture beyond existing federal measures. According to the Department of Agriculture: FY 2015 Budget Summary and Annual Performance Plan, pages 78 and 89, $45 million was spent on organic agricultural and promotional activities. A figure for spending related to local farming could not be determined. As passed, Title X of H.R. 2642 (113th Congress), the Agricultural Act of 2014, included $175 million for local and organic agricultural activities.

http://www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/FY15budsum.pdf

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/hr2642LucasLtr.pdf

Related legislation has also been introduced in the form of S. 679 (113th Congress), the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013. The bill would increase requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program locations to provide more fresh agricultural products and to increase funding to encourage more organic farming. A cost estimate is currently not available.

 

Health Care: $1.342 trillion

A. Change the Focus of Drug Abuse Response:

“Instead of spending billions on a prison industrial complex, we could invest those funds in education, prevention and rehabilitation. We should treat drug abuse as a public health issue rather than a criminal one.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=1#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear how Mrs. Bellows’ proposal would affect federal spending.

B. Increase Funding for Long-Term Elderly Care:

“I will also support expansion of health insurance coverage to provide comprehensive coverage for long-term care, so that we can lower costs and preserve quality care for seniors and people with disabilities in their homes.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=7#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear how Mrs. Bellows would structure a long-term care program or how it would be funded.

Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 2763 (113th Congress), the Older Americans Community Access Revitalization and Education Act. The bill would create programs to assist and protect senior citizens and to help integrate and plan for long-term care. A cost estimate is not currently available.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act included the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program, which created a new federal long-term care entitlement program entity for purchasing community living services and preparing for long-term care later in life. In 2011, the Administration announced it would not implement the program citing an inability to administer and sustainably fund the effort. CLASS was formally repealed as a compromise in the 2012 “fiscal cliff” agreement. The program would have started collecting premiums in 2011 but benefit payments would not begin until 2016. Over its first five full years of operation, CBO estimated it would cost $25 billion.

http://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/8069.pdf

http://www.pcfoy.com/documents/Articles/CLASS-Act-Cancellation.pdf

http://www.forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/2013/01/01/fiscal-cliff-deal-repeals-class-act-creates-long-term-care-commission/

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/07-06-classact.pdf

C. Negotiate Medicare and Medicaid Drug Prices:

“The federal government should be negotiating drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies … .”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=6#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 117 (113th Congress), the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2013. The bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices under the Medicare Part D program. A cost estimate is not currently available.

A March 3, 2004 CBO letter to Senator Ron Wyden notes: “CBO has not estimated the effect on federal spending of authorizing the Secretary to negotiate prices for single-source drugs. The extent of any savings would depend significantly on the details of legislative language; a proposal that applied to a broader range of drugs could generate no savings or even increase federal costs. The effect on federal spending would also depend on how the Secretary would choose to exercise any new authority to negotiate prices.”

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/51xx/doc5145/03-03-wyden.pdf

D. Provide Universal Healthcare Coverage:

“I support universal access to affordable healthcare for all Americans including acute, chronic, preventative, and long-term care. The Affordable Care Act is an important first step toward universal coverage, but it needs to be improved to expand coverage to all people and simplify the process for signing up. … I support expansion of Medicare to cover all Americans in a universal, single-payer healthcare system that lowers costs and allows for more effective medical fraud prevention.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=6#qt-issues

Cost: $1,342 billion (first-year cost).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 676 (113th Congress), the Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act. The bill would expand health care coverage to all U.S. residents within a single-payer system. All for-profit insurance companies would be prohibited from selling medically necessary plans. Current federal and state government health care funding – including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s health Insurance Program – would be diverted into the new program. NTUF determined the cost (a detailed table of the figures is presented below).

Additional Federal Outlays Required to Finance H.R. 676, the Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act (in Billions)

Projection of National Outlays

2015

Total National Health Expenditures

$3,207

Projection of Government Spending Under Current Law

 

Federal Government Health Expenditures

$904

State and Local Health Expenditures

$574

Total Governmental Health Care Spending

$1,478

Additional Funding Required to Cover Total National Health Expenditures

$1,729

 

 

Projected Savings Under H.R. 676

 

Administrative

$278

Bulk Purchase of Drugs

$87

Non-Durable Medical Supplies

$13

Durable Medical Equipment

$9

Total Savings

$387

 

 

Net Additional Funding Required

$1,342

Note: H.R. 676 was originally introduced on February 13, 2013, and was scored by NTUF under the assumption that it would go into effect in FY 2012. The figures above have been updated with new information from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Singlepayernow.net provided projected savings and has not updated them since 2010.

Source: http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/NationalHealthAccountsProjected.html

singlepayernow.net/wp-content/uploads/HR676-35Questions.pdf, and http://www.cms.gov/NationalHealthExpendData/downloads/proj2010.pdf

 

Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: $1.116 billion

A. Expand Background Checks for Gun Ownership:

“I support bipartisan reforms that make gun ownership safer for all of us. I support background checks for example.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=1#qt-issues

Cost: $189 million (first-year cost).

Note: In April, 2013, the Senate voted against S.Amdt. 715 in S. 649 (113th Congress), the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013. The amendment was introduced as a standalone bill in the form of H.R. 1565 (113th Congress), the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013. The bill would reauthorize the National Criminal History Records Improvement Program, allocate new funds to improve coordination within the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and establish a commission on mass violence. The text of the bill authorizes the spending, a portion of which NTUF discounted to account for current law.

B. Expand Voter Protections:

“I will advocate for a nationwide Election Day registration program. We need to restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act, modernize our voter registration systems, prohibit voter caging and voter intimidation, and make it easier for all Americans to vote.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=2#qt-issues

Cost: $262 million ($1.3 billion over five years).

Source: S. 123 (113th Congress), the Voter Empowerment Act of 2013. The bill would simplify voter registration, provide for new voting technologies, and impose stiffer penalties for voter intimidation and caging. The text of the bill authorizes the spending.

http://www.democraticwhip.gov/content/house-democrats-introduce-voter-empowerment-act

C. Legalize Marijuana:

“I was the first US Senate candidate this cycle to support marijuana legalization.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=1#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1523 (113th Congress), the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2013. The bill would exempt the federal government from regulating the production, distribution, and administration of marijuana, transferring those activities to the state level. An official cost estimate is not available but the bill was scored in NTUF’s BillTally program as a low-cost measure that would not significantly increase or decrease expenditures. It is possible that if H.R. 1523 is enacted, the federal government would spend less on marijuana interdiction activities; however, such a budgetary breakdown is currently not available.

D. Pass the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act:

“… Shenna Bellows today endorsed the newly introduced Senate version of the DISCLOSE Act … .”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/news/bellows-endorses-newly-introduced-disclose-act-get-money-out-politics-calls-collins-join-her

Cost: $2 million ($10 million over five years).

Source: S. 2516 (113th Congress), the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act of 2014, would require additional reporting related to campaign-spending. A CBO cost estimate is available for a previous House version.

  http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/115xx/doc11533/hr5175.pdf

E. Prevent Sexual Violence on College Campuses:

“I support investing more resources in preventing and enforcing sexual violence on campuses.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=9#qt-issues

Cost: $2 million (first-year cost).

Source: According to the Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2015, Appendix: Department of Justice, page 765, the President proposed to fund a National Center for Campus Public Safety at $2 million in FY 2014.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/jus.pdf

Note: Provisions of S. 128 (113th Congress), the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, were included in Section 304 of Title III of S. 47 (113th Congress), the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which was passed in March, 2013. S. 128 authorized new activities related to education and prevention of campus sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. A cost estimate is not currently available. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act also funds a $9 million grant program for campus violence.

Related legislation has also been introduced in the form of S. 2692 (113th Congress), the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. The bill would impose new regulatory requirements on campus support and law enforcement personnel to respond to sexual assaults and crimes. A national survey for on-campus sexual violence would be established and findings would be made public. A cost estimate is not currently available.

F. Reduce Police Militarization:

“I support a new bill being introduced in the House of Representatives to demilitarize the police.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/hands-dont-shoot-1345-miles-ferguson

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Mrs. Bellows is referring to H.R. 5478, the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act. The bill would prevent the transfer of some military-grade equipment to local law enforcement agencies. A cost estimate is not currently available.

http://hankjohnson.house.gov/sites/hankjohnson.house.gov/files/assets/Stop%20Militarizing%20Law%20Enforcement%20Act.pdf

G. Reestablish Campaign Finance Limits:

“I support campaign finance reform and public funding of federal elections. I support small donor public financing based on the Brennan Center model and the immediate overturning of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=2#qt-issues

“… I support the Government by the People Act – a new bill in Congress that would create a system of public matching of small-dollar donations in order to offset the outsized, negative influence of corporate money in our elections.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/supporting-government-people-act

Cost: $850 million (first-year cost).

Source: The provisions of the Fair Elections Now Act are similar to H.R. 270 (113th Congress), the Empowering Citizens Act, which is supported by the Brennan Center for Justice and H.R. 20 (113th Congress), the Government By the People Act of 2014. NTUF assumes the costs would be comparable.

  • House and Senate Elections: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 269 and S. 2023 (113th Congress), the Fair Elections Now Act. The House version of the bill provides for public funding of House elections, and the version introduced in the Senate would provide for public funding for Senate races. Public Campaign estimated that the new system would cost “between $700 and $850 million per year.”
    • H.R. 269: No offsets are included in the House bill. Public Campaign reported that “[t]he funding mechanism for House races will be determined at a future point but will be revenue neutral and not taxpayer-funded. The 112th Congress version called for ten percent of revenues generated through the auction of unused broadcast spectrum but was not included in the current version. Such proceeds could be counted as offsetting receipts (a decrease in direct spending) but would not change the cost of the bill as introduced.
    • S. 2023: Public Campaign reported that “[t]he cost of Fair Elections for Senate races would be borne by a small fee on large government contractors … .” The “fee” would likely be classified as a tax by federal budget agencies since it would not be comparable to a user fee.

http://www.publicampaign.org/fair-elections-now-act

Related legislation has also been introduced in the form of H.R. 20 (113th Congress), the Government By the People Act of 2014. The bill would provide a refundable tax credit (a type of tax credit that can result in outlays) to encourage political donations in House elections and create a fund to match the donations to campaigns. A companion bill to address Senate election donations has not been introduced. A cost estimate is not currently available; however, NTUF assumes that the cost of the bill would be similar to the Fair Elections Now Act.

http://ofby.us/about-the-bill/

H. Repeal the USA PATRIOT Act:

“As United States Senator, I will work with Republicans and Democrats alike to repeal the Patriot Act and restore checks and balances on government spying.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=1#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: S. 990 (112th Congress), the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011 extended provisions including the ability of the government to obtain roving wiretaps and to conduct covert surveillance in certain cases through June 1, 2015. It is unclear whether repealing the Act would lead to any cost savings.

I. Require the National Security Agency (NSA) to Secure Warrants Before Accessing Electronic Communications:

“Shenna opposes the warrantless NSA spying program and has called for checks and balances to require the NSA to secure a warrant before accessing Americans’ cell phone or email communications.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=10#qt-issues

“We need a special Congressional investigation into the nature and extent of spying in America, and we need a dramatic overhaul of our nation’s privacy laws to restore our constitutional freedoms and public trust.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/news/bellows-calls-nsa-reform

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1599 (113th Congress), the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring (USA FREEDOM) Act. The bill would limit domestic surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency, reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by making actions more transparent, and permit private companies to disclose their participation in surveillance programs. A cost estimate is not currently available.

J. Support Criminal Justice Reform:

“This afternoon, I publicly expressed my support for [the REDEEM Act] in Congress designed to reform our criminal justice system.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/add-your-name-support-criminal-justice-reform

Cost: Unknown.

Note: S. 2567 (113th Congress), the Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment (REDEEM) Act of 2014, would provide for greater privacy protections and prevent the loss of certain assistance and benefits for nonviolent juvenile offenders. A cost estimate is not currently available.

 

National Security and International Relations: Unknown

A. Impose New Trade Requirements:

“… [I]nternational trade agreements must be fair trade agreements – protecting workers’ rights at home and abroad, protecting the environment for future generations and protecting consumer safety.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=0#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1801 (113th Congress), the Level the Playing Field in Global Trade Act of 2013, and S. 1900 (113th Congress), the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014. Both bills call for greater analysis and consideration of foreign trading partners’ working and environmental conditions when negotiating new or reauthorizing existing trade agreements. Cost estimates for either bill are not currently available.

The primary impact of trade bills is generally on federal revenues. Depending on the terms of the agreement, there may be some outlay effects as well. For example, CBO projected that H.R. 3080, the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (112th Congress), “would reduce revenues by $31 million in 2012 and by about $7.0 billion over the 2012-2021 period. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3080 would increase direct spending by $53 million in 2012 but would decrease direct spending by about $7.0 billion over the 2012-2021 period… . Further, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $7 million over the 2012-2016 period, assuming the availability of appropriated funds.”

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/124xx/doc12466/hr3080.pdf

 

Veterans: Unknown

A. Improve Veteran Outreach Programs:

“Maine needs stronger outreach programs to reach eligible veterans and inform them of their rights, especially if they fought in wars prior to Iraq and Afghanistan when soldier services were more limited.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=8#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear whether Mrs. Bellows supports stronger outreach programs on the state or federal level.

Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 927 (113th Congress), the Veterans’ Outreach Act of 2013. The bill would establish a two-year demonstration program to educate veterans on benefits and services available to them and to improve coordination activities between government entities. Included in grant considerations are requirements to reach different veteran populations, including those who served prior to September 11, 2001. A cost estimate is not currently available.

Another bill, S. 1558 (113th Congress), the Veterans Outreach Enhancement Act of 2013, would establish a similar program but for five years. The text of that bill authorizes $7 million each year; however, S. 1558 does not make explicit requirements to conduct outreach to specific populations, including older veterans.

B. Pass New Caregiver Leave Policies:

“At the [American Civil Liberties Union] I also advocated for family medical leave policies that included caregivers, and I will advocate for policies at the federal level that support paid leave for caregivers.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=7#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 2243 (113th Congress), the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act of 2014. The bill would expand the current caregiver program to include child care, financial planning, and legal services, permit flexible work schedules or telework for federal employees who are caregivers of veterans, and include veterans who served before September 11, 2001 in caregiver programs. A cost estimate is currently not available. It is also not clear to what degree Mrs. Bellows would expand current caregiver benefits.

C. Provide Full TRICARE Benefits:

We also need health care that includes full mental health benefits, which is why I support including them in all TRICARE plans.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=8#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides behavioral health care and substance use disorder services to TRICARE subscribers. It is unclear how Mrs. Bellows would change current policy.

http://www.tricare.mil/mentalhealth

In August, 2014, H.R. 3230, the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 was signed into law. Included were provisions to hire additional mental health professionals, require more accurate wait times and workload levels for mental health departments at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, and expand counseling and treatment for mental trauma associated with sexual assault. Though CBO released an estimate for costs by titles and parts, it does not include a line-item for mental health. A more detailed report is not currently available.

Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1155 (113th Congress), the Rural Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act. The bill would provide additional appropriations for mental health-related services and personnel at Veterans Health Administration facilities, add marriage, family, and caregiver therapy programs, and include mental health services in telemedicine activities. According to a CBO report for similar measures in S. 1581 (113th Congress), the Survivors of Military Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse Act of 2013, S. 1155 would cost $28 million over five years.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s1581.pdf

 

Miscellaneous: $8 million

A. Ensure Cost-of-Living Increases for Social Security:

“We need to ensure meaningful cost of living increases.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=7#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Each year, the Social Security Administration determines whether or not to implement a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), based on the rate of inflation. The agency determined beneficiaries would receive a 1.5 percent increase, starting in January 2014. A determination to implement a COLA for 2015 will be considered later in the year.

http://www.ssa.gov/news/cola/

A number of bills have been introduced in the 113th Congress that would either guarantee or compute differently an annual Social Security COLA. Two examples include:

  • S. 567, the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013, which would create a Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (a different type of indexing inflation in calculating living expenses and therefore benefits awarded to senior citizens) and apply the new Index to COLA considerations. A cost estimate is currently not available.
  • H.R. 1585, the Guaranteed 3% COLA for Seniors Act of 2013, which would create a similar Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers and require a COLA of at least three percent. A cost estimate is currently not available.

B. Expand Social Security Benefits for Survivors and Divorcees:

“I support legislation that would expand Social Security benefits like the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 and the RAISE Act, which helps widows, widowers, divorcees and the children of deceased disability benefit recipients. … Benefits should be linked with a more realistic Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers that takes into account the high costs seniors face with healthcare and housing.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=7#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: S. 567 (113th Congress), the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013, would change the parameters of taxable wages and develop a Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers that would affect benefits and early retirees. A cost estimate is not currently available.

S. 1542 (113th Congress), the Rewarding Achievement and Incentivizing Successful Employees (RAISE) Act, would permit employers to award merit-based compensation increases to individual employees, regardless of any collective bargaining agreement. NTUF determined that the bill would not affect federal spending.

C. Make Saving for Retirement Easier:

“I will support legislation that makes it easier for families to save for their retirement.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=7#qt-issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: There are many financial tools available to families to save for retirement. Some would require federal funds while others are already available through banking institutions. It is unclear what legislation or measures Mrs. Bellows would support to encourage saving for retirement.

One such tool is individual retirement accounts (IRAs). In his 2014 State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed a new retirement savings bond called “MyRA” that would function like a Roth IRA (an IRA that taxes contributions as they are deposited and not as funds are withdrawn). It is unclear how the federal government would administer, encourage investment in, or manage the “MyRA” accounts. The Department of the Treasury plans to have MyRA operational in 2015. A cost estimate is not currently available.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2014/01/28/why-retirement-security-stinks-in-u-s-and-how-to-fix-it/

http://www.treasury.gov/about/budget-performance/CJ15/09.%20Fiscal%20Service%20CJ.pdf

Other IRA-related bills have been introduced in the 113th Congress, including H.R. 837, the Savings for American Families’ Future Act of 2013, which would permit individuals to contribute more funds to savings accounts (including IRAs), make tax-deductible retirement contributions as refundable (which would count as new spending), and match savings contributions with federal funds. NTUF determined that the bill would increase spending by $8.2 billion over five years.

D. Support Same-Sex Marriage:

“I support a bill to extend full marriage equality and benefits to same-sex couples no matter what state they live in.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=1#qt-issues

Cost: $8 million ($42 million over five years).

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1529 (113th Congress), the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2013. The bill would grant equal rights to same-sex domestic partnerships and to domestic partners as they apply to married couples for married federal employees and their spouses. For a version of the bill passed in the Senate in the 112th Congress, CBO found that the measure would increase spending by $42 million over five years.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s1910.pdf

In June, 2014, the Administration announced regulatory changes that would, though not wholly, extend federal benefits to committed same-sex couples. Benefits include the ability to take unpaid leave to care for a spouse (which was available to them since October, 2013), marriage benefits (in states that recognize same-sex marriage), and Social Security spousal payments. It is unclear how the changes will change spending or to what degree much of the provisions of S. 1529 are in effect.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/03/your-money/a-guide-to-changes-in-federal-benefits-for-same-sex-couples.html?_r=1

 

Fiscal Notes:

“… I oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership and fast-track authority for trade agreements.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=0#qt-issues

“I support a solution called ‘Scrap the Cap’ that eliminates the taxable cap and makes sure the highest-paid Americans pay their fair share.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/issues?qt-issues=7#qt-issues

“… I support the Federal Minimum Wage Act, a bill in the United States Senate that would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/labor-day-we-must-raise-minimum-wage

“Shenna Bellows … has backed Senator Angus King’s proposal to tie the public debt limit to passage of the budget resolution. … Senator King's proposal will require the Senate to be more thoughtful during the budget debates and avoid bringing us to the dangerous brink of default on our debt obligations.”

http://bellowsforsenate.com/news/bellows-backs-senator-king%E2%80%99s-debt-ceiling-legislation