Government relations is a key membership benefit and we are engaged 12-months a year in legislative, regulatory and policy matters impacting our members. The 129th First Regular Session has officially started as of Wed. December 5, 2018.

Read more about the issues we stand for and our successes!

The MGFPA reviews proposed bills and will post Legislation of Interest.  Each week during the session, members receive the Legislative Watch E-Newsletter.  In addition, during the session, the MGFPA Government Relations Committee meets via conference call. Be part of the discussion! Or just listen in. Email Us for the dial-in details!


Legislation of Interest

LD 312: An Act To Reduce the Cost of Workers' Compensation Insurance for Small Employers

Category: General Business | Status: Pending

This bill prohibits a workers’ compensation insurer from charging a minimum premium in connection with its issuance of a workers’ compensation policy.

Updated: January 18, 2019

LD 305: An Act To Protect Job Applicants from Identity Theft

Category: General Business | Status: Pending

This bill prohibits the request of a social security number from a prospective employee by an employer on an employment application or during the application process. Under this bill, an employer may still request a social security number from a prospective employee for purposes of a substance abuse test or preemployment background check, and an employer is not prohibited from asking for a social security number from an individual for any reason after the individual has been hired.

Updated: January 18, 2019

LD 292: An Act To Feed Maine's Residents by Allowing Dairy Dealers and Producers in the State To Donate Fresh Milk to Food Banks in the State

Category: Milk & Milk Products | Status: Pending

This bill exempts from the Maine Milk Commission’s minimum price requirements donations of fresh milk by a dealer or producer-dealer to an incorporated nonprofit organization established for the purpose of reducing hunger and increasing food security.

Updated: January 18, 2019

LD 289: An Act To Prohibit the Use of Certain Disposable Food Service Containers

Category: Environmental | Status: Pending

Beginning January 1, 2020, this bill prohibits the sale or distribution in the State of disposable food service containers composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam. The bill requires the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules to implement these statutory provisions.

Updated: January 18, 2019

LD 286: An Act To Provide a Sales Tax Exemption for Feminine Hygiene Products

Category: Taxation | Status: Pending

This bill provides a sales tax exemption on the purchase of feminine hygiene products.

Updated: January 18, 2019

LD 278: An Act Regarding Pay Equality

Category: General Business | Status: Pending

This bill amends the Maine Human Rights Act to provide that evidence of discrimination with respect to compensation includes an employer seeking information about a prospective employee’s prior wage history before an offer of employment, including all compensation, to the prospective employee has been made. It provides that this discrimination is also evidenced by an employer requiring that a prospective employee’s prior compensation history meet certain criteria. The bill broadens a provision in the current equal pay law to prohibit an employer from preventing employees from discussing or disclosing other employees’ wages and makes the practice a violation of the Maine Human Rights Act as well.

Updated: January 18, 2019

LD 254: An Act To Clarify Liquor Label Approval and Registration Requirements

Category: Beverage Containers | Status: Pending

This bill requires that all malt liquor, wine and low-alcohol spirits products imported to, exported from or sold in Maine bear a label approved by the United States Department of the Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau unless the malt liquor, wine or low-alcohol spirits products are manufactured in Maine and are not shipped, distributed or sold in interstate commerce.

The bill also requires manufacturers to register the labels of all malt liquor, wine and low-alcohol spirits products sold in the State with the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations unless the malt liquor, wine or low-alcohol spirits products are sold by a Maine manufacturer directly to consumers for on-premises consumption or in a keg to a Maine retailer licensed to sell liquor for on-premises consumption. The Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations is required to adopt rules establishing requirements for label registration that are consistent with the regulations promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau pursuant to the Federal Alcohol Administration Act, 27 United States Code, Section 205(e).

Updated: January 18, 2019

LD 248: An Act To Increase the Handling Fee for Beverage Containers Reimbursed to Redemption Centers

Category: Beverage Containers | Status: Pending

This bill increases by 2¢ per returned container the reimbursement to the dealer or local redemption center for the cost of handling beverage containers beginning March 1, 2020.

Updated: January 18, 2019

LD 102: An Act To Prohibit an Employer from Asking a Prospective Hire about the Person's Compensation History until after a Job Offer Is Made

Category: General Business | Status: Pending

This bill prohibits an employer from inquiring about a prospective employee’s compensation history until after an offer of employment that includes all terms of compensation has been negotiated and made to the prospective employee. The bill also prohibits an employer from requiring that a prospective employee’s compensation history meet certain criteria. An employer that violates this provision is subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500 per violation and is also subject to a civil action that may be brought by or on behalf of an affected prospective employee by the Department of Labor or the affected employee.

Updated: January 17, 2019

LD 104: An Act To Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit in Maine

Category: Taxation | Status: Pending

This bill expands the earned income tax credit by increasing the credit from 5% to 15% of the federal earned income tax credit and extending the credit to persons from 18 to 24 years of age who have no qualifying child.

This bill also requires the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards to provide a poster or notice to employers that states that employees may be eligible for the earned income tax credit. This bill requires employers to post the poster or notice in a place that is accessible to the employers’ employees.

Updated: January 17, 2019

LD 102: An Act To Improve the Manufacturing of Plastic Bottles and Bottle Caps

Category: Beverage Containers | Status: Pending

This bill prohibits, beginning January 1, 2020, a manufacturer from selling, offering for sale or distributing for sale in the State a single-use plastic beverage container unless the container is composed of at least 15% postconsumer recycled plastic. Beginning January 1, 2022, this threshold for the percentage of postconsumer recycled plastic in single-use plastic beverage containers increases to 20% and, beginning January 1, 2024, the threshold increases to 25%.

The bill also prohibits, beginning January 1, 2020, a manufacturer from selling, offering for sale or distributing for sale in the State a single-use plastic beverage container with a plastic beverage cap unless the cap is composed of the same plastic as the beverage container and the cap is tethered to the container in a manner that prevents the separation of the cap from the container when the cap is removed or the cap includes an opening from which the beverage can be consumed while the cap remains screwed onto or otherwise affixed to the container.

Updated: January 17, 2019

LD 93: An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Bottle Redemption To Counterbalance for Redemption Centers the Increase in Minimum Wage

Category: Beverage Containers | Status: Pending

This bill increases by 1¢ per returned container the handling costs to be reimbursed to the dealer or local redemption center for the cost of handling beverage containers beginning March 1, 2020.

Updated: January 11, 2019

LD 88: An Act To Require the Truthful Display of Gasoline Prices

Category: General Business | Status: Pending

This bill requires posted gasoline prices on pumps or on roadside signs of a retail seller to be the full price of the fuel and prohibits posting a price reduced due to factors such as method of payment, participation in a rewards program or a discount for the purchase of other goods or services from the retail seller.

Updated: January 11, 2019

LD 87: An Act To Increase the Bottle Redemption Deposit

Category: Beverage Containers | Status: Pending

This bill increases to 25¢ the deposit and refund value on refillable and nonrefillable beverage containers whose deposit and refund value is currently 5¢. This increase does not apply to wine and spirits containers.

Updated: January 11, 2019

LD 86: An Act To Provide That Persons Who Produce Maple Syrup and Honey Commercially Are Eligible for the Sales Tax Refund and Exemption for Commercial Agricultural Production

Category: Food Production | Status: Pending

This bill expands the sales tax refund and exemption for commercial agricultural production to include the commercial production of maple syrup and honey. (Emergency)

Updated: January 11, 2019

LD 75: An Act To Protect Earned Pay

Category: General Business | Status: Pending

Under current law, a person who receives or is scheduled to receive remuneration in the form of vacation pay in excess of 4 weeks’ wages or holiday pay is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for the week that remuneration is due. This bill removes those disqualifications.

Updated: January 11, 2019

LD 69: An Act To Provide Economic Security to Maine Families through the Creation of a Paid Family Medical Leave System

Category: General Business | Status: Pending

This bill creates a paid family medical leave program, patterned after the unpaid family medical leave program existing in current law but requiring a contribution from an eligible employee, or a self-employed person on a voluntary basis, of no more than 0.5% of the employee’s or self-employed person’s wages or earnings. The program requires employers to deduct the contributions from employee paychecks and requires the employers and self-employed persons to submit contributions to the Department of Labor, Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, which is charged with administering the program. The program pays benefits of up to 66% of an employee’s wages or self-employed person’s earnings, capped at the same maximum amount as unemployment benefits for leave taken by the employee or self-employed person for various family-related medical issues. The bill makes participation optional for employers that employ fewer than 15 employees. The bill also directs the Department of Labor to develop an implementation plan dealing with staffing, technology, start-up expenses, rulemaking and scheduling to begin the program on its effective date of October 1, 2020.

Updated: January 11, 2019

LD 65: An Act To Allow Municipalities To Impose a Seasonal or Year-round Local Option Sales Tax

Category: Taxation | Status: Pending

This bill allows a municipality to impose a local option sales tax, which may be seasonal, if approved by referendum of the voters in that municipality. The referendum question must identify the rate of the local option sales tax, specify the months during which it will be imposed if not year-round and identify the purposes for which the revenue will be used. The local option sales tax would be collected and administered by the State in the same manner as the sales and use tax. Revenue from the local option sales tax is distributed to the municipality imposing the local option sales tax. Revenue received by a municipality may not be used to reduce or eliminate funding otherwise due the municipality under other provisions of law.

Updated: January 11, 2019

LD 61: An Act To Improve the Maine Bottle Redemption Process

Category: Beverage Containers | Status: Pending

This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208.

This bill proposes to simplify and improve the efficiency of the bottle redemption process.

Updated: January 11, 2019

LD 50: An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Government Oversight Committee To Improve the Development of a Long-range Strategic Plan for Economic Improvement in the State

Category: General Business | Status: Pending

This bill provides additional clarity, requirements and resources for the Maine Economic Growth Council’s efforts to fulfill its current statutory mandate to develop, monitor and maintain a long-range strategic economic improvement plan for the State. It also includes provisions to support the State’s achievement of the goals and objectives in that plan by establishing requirements for the Governor, Legislature and agencies with relevant programs and activities to consider the long-range strategic economic improvement plan and provide information to the Maine Economic Growth Council at the request of the council.

Updated: January 11, 2019

LD 15: An Act To Provide for Municipalities To Allow Grocery Stores up to 10,000 Square Feet To Open on Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas

Category: General Business | Status: Pending

This bill allows a municipality by ordinance to allow grocery stores with no more than 10,000 square feet of interior customer selling space to be open on Easter Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. (Emergency)

Updated: January 9, 2019