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 128th Maine Legislature Adjourned Sine Die Wed. May 2, 2018. The 129th First Regular Session will convene on 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 1906: An Act To Allow Adults To Purchase Tobacco Products

Category: Alcohol & Tobacco | Status: Pending

4/18/18 – Speaker laid before the House On motion of Representative HYMANSON of York the Bill and accompanying papers were INDEFINITELY POSTPONED.Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.

Public Law 2017, chapter 308 increased the legal age for purchase or possession of tobacco products to 21 years of age, except for those persons who attained 18 years of age by July 1, 2018.

This bill reduces the legal age for purchase and possession of tobacco products to 18 years of age. This bill also allows a person who is 17 years of age to sell tobacco products if supervised by a person who is at least 18 years of age.

Updated: April 18, 2018

LD 1905: An Act To Allow Minors To Work in a Family Business without Obtaining a Work Permit

Category: Labor | Status: Pending

4/18/18 – Speaker laid before the House. On motion of Representative FECTEAU of Biddeford the Bill and accompanying papers were INDEFINITELY POSTPONED.
ROLL CALL NO. 640
(Yeas 75 – Nays 73 – Absent 3 – Excused 0)
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.

This bill allows children who are authorized to work for their parents under state and federal law to do so without filing for or obtaining a work permit with or from the Department of Labor.

Updated: April 18, 2018

LD 1873: "An Act To Align State-funded Benefits with Federal Eligibility Standards"

Category: SNAP & WIC | Status: Pending

4/18/18 – Speaker laid before the House Subsequently, on motion of Representative HYMANSON of York the Bill and accompanying papers were INDEFINITELY POSTPONED.
ROLL CALL NO. 636
(Yeas 79 – Nays 69 – Absent 3 – Excused 0)
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.

Part A of this bill does the following:

1. It repeals the provision that requires the Department of Health and Human Services to provide a food supplement program benefit to noncitizens who would be eligible for federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits but for their status as aliens under the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996;

2. It repeals the provision that requires the Department of Health and Human Services to provide state supplemental security income for noncitizens who would be eligible for federal supplemental security income but for their status as aliens under the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996;

3. It repeals the provision that requires the Department of Health and Human Services to provide financial assistance to individuals who would be eligible for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families benefits but for their status as aliens under the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996; and

4. It includes an appropriations and allocations section.

Part B of this bill does the following:

1. It amends the definition of “eligible person” in the municipal general assistance laws to repeal the provision in state law that affirmatively provides that a person who is lawfully present in the United States or who is pursuing a lawful process to apply for immigration relief is eligible for municipal general assistance for up to 24 months and to instead state that these noncitizens are not eligible for state-funded general assistance; and

2. It includes an appropriations and allocations section.

Updated: April 18, 2018

LD 1864: An Act To Establish Universal Home Care for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities

Category: Taxation | Status: Defeated

4/13/2018 –  Taken from the table by the President ProTem
Subsequently On motion by Senator MASON of Androscoggin The Senate INSISTED To REFERENCE to the Committee on TAXATION In NON-CONCURRENCE
Roll Call Ordered Roll Call Number 623 Yeas 28 – Nays 4 – Excused 3 – Absent 0
Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

This initiated bill establishes the Universal Home Care Program to provide in-home and community support services for all people with disabilities living in Maine who require assistance with an activity of daily living and people 65 years of age or older who are living in Maine and who require assistance with an activity of daily living, without regard to income, to be funded by a new tax of 3.8% on income and wages that exceed the maximum wages subject to social security employment taxes.

Updated: April 13, 2018

LD 1655: An Act To Update References to the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 Contained in the Maine Revised Statutes

Category: General Business | Status: Pending

4/18/2018 –  Reports READ. Senator DOW of Lincoln moved to ACCEPT the Minority Ought to Pass as Amended Report. On further motion by same Senator TABLED until Later in Today’s Session pending his motion to ACCEPT the Minority Ought to Pass as Amended Report, Unfinished Business.

This bill updates references to the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 contained in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 36 to refer to the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended through December 31, 2017 for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2017 and for any prior tax years as specifically provided by the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. This bill primarily affects the State’s income tax laws.

Plus Governor’s Language.

Updated: April 18, 2018

LD 1202: An Act To Clear a Path to Employment

Category: Labor | Status: Defeated

3/27/18 – Reports READ. On motion of Representative WARREN of Hallowell, the Majority Ought Not to Pass Report was ACCEPTED. In concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
Placed in the Legislative Files. (DEAD)

This bill establishes an automatic process for an individual who has been convicted of a Class C, Class D or Class E crime to have the records of that conviction sealed if the crime does not involve domestic violence or sexual assault; the individual has not been convicted of any other crime in this State or another jurisdiction; and at least 7 years have passed since the date of conviction. If the Department of Public Safety, Bureau of State Police, State Bureau of Identification objects to the automatic sealing of an individual’s criminal conviction records, the individual may file a motion in the underlying criminal proceeding requesting that the records be sealed.

The bill provides for a reduction in the 7-year waiting period for the sealing of records of an eligible criminal conviction if a convicted individual files a motion with the court demonstrating that the individual obtained a high school diploma or postsecondary certificate or degree after the date of conviction.

The bill prohibits the use of sealed criminal conviction information by all employers that are not criminal justice agencies. The bill also authorizes individuals whose conviction records have been sealed to respond to inquiries, other than inquiries from a criminal justice agency, as if the sealed conviction and underlying crime had never occurred.

Updated: March 27, 2018

LD 1719: An Act To Implement a Regulatory Structure for Adult Use Marijuana

Category: Marijuana | Status: Pending

4/17/18 – Senate PASSAGE TO BE ENACTED – Emergency – 2/3 Elected Required, in concurrence.

This bill, which is an emergency bill, facilitates the development and administration of a regulated marketplace in the State for adult use marijuana and the regulation of the personal use of marijuana and the home cultivation of marijuana for personal adult use pursuant to the Marijuana Legalization Act, as approved by the voters at referendum in November 2016.

See bill language for more details.

Updated: April 17, 2018

LD 1747: Resolve, To Establish a Task Force To Examine Agricultural Issues

Category: Food Production | Status: Pending

4/18/18 – LD 1747 In Senate, April 18, 2018, this Bill, having been returned by the Governor, together with objections to the same pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of the State of Maine, after reconsideration, the Senate proceeded to vote on the question: “Shall this Bill become a law notwithstanding the objections of the Governor?” 32 IN FAVOR and 3 AGAINST, accordingly it was the vote of the Senate that the Bill become law and the VETO was OVERRIDDEN.  Sent down for concurrence.

This resolve establishes the Task Force To Examine Agricultural Issues to examine the barriers to economic prosperity in rural parts of the State and examine how innovation, infrastructure and technology may play a role in long-term, sustainable rural success.

Updated: April 18, 2018

LD 1768: An Act To Reduce Impairment on the Job and Improve Workplace Safety by Amending the Laws Governing Employment Practices Concerning Substance Use Testing

Category: Marijuana | Status: Defeated

3/20/2018 Senate Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

This bill makes changes to the laws governing employment practices concerning substance abuse testing, including the following.

1. It replaces the phrases “substance abuse test” and “substance abuse testing” with “substance use test” and “substance use testing” to reflect current usage.

2. It repeals a section of law that addresses nuclear power plants since there are no operating nuclear power plants in this State.

3. It narrows the definition of “employee” and provides that a full-time employee is an employee who works at least 36 hours a week.

4. It authorizes an employer that has employees subject to a federally mandated substance use testing program to extend federal drug testing activities to its entire workforce in order to maintain a single testing program and specifies that the employer must prepare a substance use testing plan for employees who are not federally regulated, provide a copy of the plan to the employees and the Department of Labor before testing, follow federal notification and procedural protocols for such employees and annually report the results of testing to the department.

5. It streamlines the current substance use testing policy approval by requiring the Department of Labor to develop a uniform impairment and substance use testing policy applicable to all employers. Employers must certify their adoption of the policy and be approved by the Department of Labor prior to conducting substance use testing.

6. It removes the “probable cause” standard and replaces it with an “impairment detection” standard required before the employer may conduct substance use testing. For employers authorized to conduct substance use testing, only an employer or employee approved for impairment detection by the Department of Labor or a licensed physician or nurse may make an impairment detection. This detection may be based on a single work-related accident, unlike the “probable cause” standard under current law. The employer may immediately remove the employee from the workplace pending resolution of the impairment detection.

7. It adds an “impairment determination” process that may be used as an alternative or in addition to a substance use test. Under this process, an occupational health care provider conducts a medical review in order to confirm the impairment detection, which may include a substance use test that includes testing for prescription drugs. If the impairment is confirmed, the employer may take employment action including firing or disciplining the employee, subject to any limitations under the Maine Human Rights Act and any other state or federal law. If the occupational health care provider finds that the employee was not impaired or that such impairment did not pose a safety risk, the employee is entitled to full reinstatement to the employee’s position.

8. It adds a violation of an established drug-free workplace policy as grounds for employment action and provides for a treatment period of 12 weeks at the employee’s expense.

9. It eliminates the requirement that, prior to establishing a substance use testing program, an employer with over 20 full-time employees have a functioning employee assistance program and instead authorizes employers to have an employee assistance program.

10. It expands the number of establishments that may undertake companywide random substance use testing by authorizing such testing for companies with 10 or more employees instead of with 50 or more employees, as is the current standard.

11. It provides that a confirmed positive substance use test may be reported to the employee only by a medical review officer and allows an employee to provide a legitimate medical explanation for a positive test result for legally obtained medications, preventing the medical review officer from reporting a positive test for that substance to the employer.

12. It allows testing laboratories to use federal testing standards.

13. It adds a new civil violation for any employer noncompliance with the substance use testing laws, for which a fine of not more than $500 for the first violation, $750 for the 2nd violation and $1,000 for the 3rd and subsequent violations may be adjudged.

Updated: March 20, 2018

1698: An Act To Promote Innovation and Growth in Maine's Traditional Industries

Category: General Business | Status: Defeated

2/22/18 – Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

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

This bill proposes to promote innovation and growth in Maine’s traditional industries.

Updated: February 22, 2018

1718: An Act To Empower Maine's Rural Economy and Workforce

Category: Labor | Status: Defeated

3/20/18 – Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

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

This bill proposes to empower Maine’s rural economy and workforce.

Updated: March 20, 2018

1775: An Act To Further Delay the Implementation of Certain Provisions of the Marijuana Legalization Act

Category: Marijuana | Status: Defeated

2/8/18 – Placed in the Legislative Files. (DEAD)

This bill further delays, until May 1, 2018, the effective date of those provisions of the Marijuana Legalization Act that were delayed until February 1, 2018 by Public Law 2017, chapter 1. (Emergency)

Updated: February 8, 2018

1786: An Act Regarding Maine's Liquor Laws

Category: Alcohol & Tobacco | Status: Passed

30/20/18 – PASSED TO BE ENACTED, in concurrence.
The Bill was PASSED TO BE ENGROSSED as Amended by Committee Amendment “A” (H-619).

This amendment provides that distilled spirits may be donated to charitable organizations by both in-state and out-of-state manufacturers. It also clarifies how those donations are processed by the State or the State’s wholesale liquor provider. This amendment provides that a manufacturer in the State is entitled to have a retail license under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 28-A, chapter 43 per licensed manufacturing location, either on the premises of the manufacturing facility or at another location. The amendment also clarifies that liquor sold under a retail license issued pursuant to chapter 43 may not be consumed on any part of the premises where patrons are not generally permitted.

Updated: March 20, 2018

1723: An Act To Expand Job Opportunities for People Working in Maine

Category: General Business | Status: Defeated

3/27/18 – Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

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

This bill proposes to expand job opportunities for people working in this State.

Updated: March 27, 2018

1612: An Act To Support Maine Families through Universal Family Care

Category: General Business | Status: Defeated

2/1/18 – Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

This bill establishes the Universal Family Care Program of universal child care and in-home and community support services for all individuals and families who are eligible. Eligibility for universal child care is based on the age of the child, and eligibility for in-home and community support services is based on medical eligibility. Income is not a factor for eligibility. The bill establishes the Universal Family Care Trust Fund, which is managed by a board composed of members who represent child care providers, home care agencies, employees of child care providers and home care agencies and consumers of child care and home care services. The board employs professional staff and receives advice from an advisory committee composed of the Commissioner of Health and Human Services, the Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Labor as well as the Treasurer of State, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Base funding for universal child care is from child care funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and the federal Child Care and Development Fund block grant. Base funding for universal in-home and community support services is from federal matching funding related to home and community support services and state funding for elder services provided in the home.

To complete the funding for the Universal Family Care Program, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Revenue Services is directed to develop and submit to the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services draft legislation to establish universal family care taxes. The taxes are to be structured to include 3 elements: a tax on wages that is substantially equivalent to the federal Social Security’s Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program tax, but that applies only to earnings above the annual contribution and benefit base of the federal tax; a self-employment tax applicable to taxpayers who are subject to the federal Self-Employment Contributions Act tax that is equivalent to that tax and applies to net earnings above the annual limit subject to taxation under that federal tax; and a tax equal to the wage and self-employment taxes that is imposed on unearned annual income and that applies in a manner similar to the federal Net Investment Income Tax. The bill directs the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services to report out a bill to the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature to establish universal family care taxes to fully fund the Universal Family Care Program.

Updated: January 26, 2018

821: An Act To Enact the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

Category: General Business | Status: Defeated

1/18/2018 Senate Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

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

This bill proposes to adopt a law that is based on the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, the text of which may be found here: http://legislature.maine.gov/uploads/originals/revised-uniform-unclaimed-property-act.pdf.

In addition to any substantive changes to the uniform act that may be adopted by the Legislature, the basic numbering system, the mechanical structure and the internal organization of the law recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws will be altered to conform to the numbering, structure and organization of the Maine Revised Statutes.

Updated: January 18, 2018

1743: An Act To Modify the Number of Retail Liquor Licenses Allowed in a Jurisdiction per Person

Category: Alcohol & Tobacco | Status: Passed

4/18/18 – Senate PASSED TO BE ENACTED, in concurrence.

This amendment replaces the bill, which is a concept draft. The amendment provides that the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations may license up to 11 agency liquor stores in a municipality with a population over 60,000. Under current law, the maximum number of agency liquor stores that may be licensed in a municipality with a population over 45,000 is 10.

Updated: April 18, 2018

1703: An Act To Create Equity for Wine and Spirits Container Deposits

Category: Beverage Containers | Status: Defeated

3/20/2018 – Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

This bill creates a uniform refund value for all wine and spirits bottles in the laws governing returnable beverage containers.

Updated: March 20, 2018

1770: An Act To Revise Laws Regarding Unemployment That Were Amended or Affected by Recently Enacted Legislation

Category: Labor | Status: Pending

4/18/18 – This being an emergency measure, a two-thirds vote of all the members elected to the House was necessary. FAILED PASSAGE TO BE ENACTED. On motion of Representative FECTEAU of Biddeford, the House RECONSIDERED its action whereby the Bill FAILED PASSAGE TO BE ENACTED.
On further motion of same Representative TABLED pending PASSAGE TO BE ENACTED.
Later today assigned. Unfinished Business.

This bill changes the laws governing how benefits paid to an eligible individual under the Employment Security Law are charged against the experience rating record of the individual’s previous employers and applies these changes beginning January 1, 2020. The biennial budget also changed this law and applied the changes beginning January 1, 2018. The bill also provides that until January 1, 2020 the experience rating record of the most recent subject employer may not be charged with benefits paid to an eligible individual whose work record with that employer totaled 5 consecutive weeks or less.

This bill also provides that certain decisions made by the Commissioner of Labor are subject to review by the Department of Labor, Division of Administrative Hearings, rather than by the Maine Unemployment Insurance Commission.

Updated: April 18, 2018

1769: An Act To Conform the Laws Regarding a Salaried Employee Who Is Exempt from Overtime and Minimum Wage Requirements to Federal Law

Category: Labor | Status: Defeated

4/2/18 – The House INSISTED on ACCEPTANCE of the Majority Ought Not to Pass Report.
ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
Placed in the Legislative Files. (DEAD)

This amendment, which is the minority report, strikes and replaces the bill. It amends the description of a salaried employee in the laws governing exemptions to limits on mandatory overtime and the definition of “employee” in the laws governing exemptions to the minimum wage by eliminating any increase to the salary threshold due to the cost-of-living adjustment to the minimum wage after January 1, 2020.

Updated: April 2, 2018

1757: An Act To Protect Maine's Economy by Slowing the Rate at Which the State's Minimum Wage Will Increase and Establishing a Training and Youth Wage

Category: Labor | Status: Pending

Mar 21, 2018, MAJ: Ought Not To Pass, MIN: Ought To Pass As Amended
3/29/2018 Senate Unfinished Business

S-A to C-A: This amendment changes the timing for minimum wage increases by starting with $10.50 per hour on January 1, 2019 and increasing it by 50¢ per hour each year until it reaches $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2022. Starting January 1, 2023 and annually thereafter the minimum wage is increased by any increase in the cost of living as measured by the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, CPI-W. The amendment also strikes from Committee Amendment “A” the provisions that establish a special minimum wage applicable to unemancipated minors under 18 years of age for the first 200 work hours of employment. The amendment also removes the emergency preamble and emergency clause.

Updated: March 29, 2018

1584: An Act To Expand the Local Foods Economy by Promoting Local Foods Procurement

Category: Food Production | Status: Pending

3/29/18 – Senator HAMPER of Oxford PLACED ON THE SPECIAL APPROPRIATIONS TABLE pending PASSAGE TO BE ENACTED, in concurrence.

This bill requires the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to establish a good local foods procurement program to encourage the purchase and sale of foods that are produced and harvested in this State and that are healthy, safe, wholesome, nutritious, affordable, accessible and sustainably produced. The program, administered by the commissioner, must help farmers and fishermen in this State by increasing demand for and direct purchasing of their products by individuals and institutions with a goal of increasing the sale and purchase of good local foods by 20% no later than 2025 and supporting local economies, farms, fisheries, jobs, nutrition, environmental sustainability and animal welfare. The program also must improve access to good local foods.

Updated: January 29, 2018

1587: An Act To Provide Economic Security to Maine Families through the Creation of a Paid Family Medical Leave System

Category: Labor | Status: Passed

4/17/18 – Senate FINALLY PASSED, in concurrence.

This amendment strikes the bill and replaces it with a resolve that directs the University of Maine System to carry out a study to examine costs and benefits of implementing a paid family leave program in the State, if funding resources are available to enable the University of Maine System to conduct such a study, and to submit a report of its findings to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over labor matters. The committee is authorized to report out a bill based on the report to the First Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.

Updated: April 17, 2018

1565: An Act To Ensure the Effectiveness of Tax Increment Financing

Category: General Business | Status: Defeated

2/1/2018 – Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

This bill amends the criteria for adopting a development program as part of a development district by requiring that 80% of the area within the district is designated for development by an entity engaged in a qualified business activity that is directly related to financial services, manufacturing or targeted technologies.

Updated: February 1, 2018

1534: An Act To Address Hunger, Support Maine Farms and Reduce Waste

Category: Environmental | Status: Passed

3/27/2018 – PASSED TO BE ENACTED, in concurrence.

This amendment changes the title, replaces the bill and directs the Department of Environmental Protection, as resources allow, to develop and maintain on its publicly accessible website a food recovery database of guidance documents, model policies, program resources and other educational and technical materials relevant to food recovery and food waste reduction efforts that may be implemented by government entities, counties, municipalities, educational institutions, businesses and members of the public.

The amendment also removes the emergency preamble and emergency clause from the bill.

Updated: March 27, 2018

1566: An Act To Enact the Maine Fair Chance Employment Act

Category: Labor | Status: Pending

4/18/18 – On motion by Senator HAMPER of Oxford PLACED ON THE SPECIAL APPROPRIATIONS TABLE pending PASSAGE TO BE ENACTED, in concurrence.

This bill enacts the Maine Fair Chance Employment Act and adds restrictions to the use of criminal history information in the context of employment decisions by private employers and the State and its political subdivisions and of licensing decisions by licensing agencies.

Updated: April 18, 2018

1244: An Act To Support Small Manufacturers in the State

Category: Food Production | Status: Defeated

Reported Out, Feb 1, 2018, LTW (Leave to Withdraw)

This concept draft would help small manufacturers.

Updated: January 8, 2018

1149: An Act To Provide Revenue To Fix and Rebuild Maine's Infrastructure

Category: Taxation | Status: Pending

4/19/18 – House – Unfinished Business.

This amendment removes the provisions in the bill that impose a surcharge on the registration of hybrid motor vehicles, battery-electric motor vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell motor vehicles.

The amendment removes certain examination fee increases for driver’s licenses since these fees were increased in the Highway Fund budget bill, Public Law 2017, chapter 283.

The amendment removes certain fee increases for a nondriver identification card, a duplicate nondriver identification card and a duplicate registration certificate.

The amendment removes tax increases imposed on motor vehicle fuel by 7¢ per gallon, from 29.5¢ per gallon to 36.5¢ per gallon, beginning October 1, 2017. Instead, the amendment proposes to increase the tax on motor vehicle fuel by 3¢ per gallon, from 29.5¢ per gallon to 32.5¢ per gallon, beginning January 1, 2019 and by another 3¢ per gallon, from 32.5¢ per gallon to 35.5¢ per gallon, beginning January 1, 2020.

Updated: April 19, 2018

855: An Act To Protect Children from Edible Cannabis Products

Category: Marijuana | Status: Defeated

3/27/2018 – Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

Would prohibit the production and sales of “edibles” packaged or shaped that would appeal to children.

Updated: March 28, 2018

781: An Act To Support the Trades through a Tax Credit for Apprenticeship Programs

Category: Taxation | Status: Pending

6/9/2017 Senate On motion by Senator HAMPER of Oxford PLACED
ON THE SPECIAL APPROPRIATIONS TABLE pending ENACTMENT

This bill provides an income tax credit to employers with apprenticeship programs approved by the Department of Labor. The credit is equal to $2,500 for each registered apprentice employed by the taxpayer during the taxable year in an approved apprenticeship program.

Updated: January 8, 2018

700: An Act To Give Flexibility to Employees and Employers for Temporary Layoffs

Category: Labor | Status: Passed

4/17/18 – On motion by Senator HAMPER of Oxford PLACED ON THE SPECIAL APPROPRIATIONS TABLE pending PASSAGE TO BE ENACTED – Emergency – 2/3 Elected Required, in concurrence.

This bill creates an exemption from the eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits dealing with work search for an individual otherwise eligible for unemployment benefits when that individual has been temporarily laid off with a definite recall date of not more than 12 weeks from the date of the individual’s temporary layoff.

Updated: April 17, 2018

675: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Food Processing Infrastructure in Targeted Areas of the State

Category: Food Production | Status: Pending

2/28/2017 Senate The Bill was REFERRED to the Committee on APPROPRIATIONS AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS in concurrence

This is a $20 million bond proposal to support food production in certain regions of the State.  It would require voter approval.

Updated: January 8, 2018

LD 669: An Act To Address the Unmet Workforce Needs of Employers and To Improve the Economic Future of Workers

Category: Labor | Status: Defeated

4/18/18 – House – This Bill, having been returned by the Governor, together with objections to the same pursuant to Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, after reconsideration, the House proceeded to vote on the question: “Shall this Bill become a law notwithstanding the objections of the Governor?”
ROLL CALL NO. 624
97 having voted in the affirmative and 51 in the negative, with 3 being absent, and accordingly it was the vote of the House that the Bill not become a law and the veto was sustained.
In NON-CONCURRENCE. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
Placed in the Legislative Files. (DEAD)

PASSED TO BE ENGROSSED as Amended by Committee Amendment “A” (S-399).

This amendment strikes the bill, which is a concept draft, and replaces it with a number of changes to the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program administered by the Department of Labor, including the following.

1. It requires that the Department of Labor’s outreach efforts regarding the program be tailored to focus on unemployed and underemployed workers, veterans, immigrants, recipients of benefits under the statewide food supplement program, low-skilled manufacturing workers and students enrolled in postsecondary education.

2. It directs the Department of Labor to collaborate with other entities to improve program outreach to target demographics, including, at a minimum, collaboration with the Maine Community College System.

3. It makes changes to the criteria used to determine approved education and training under the program, including consideration of employer input, changing demographics and traditional industries in the State in which innovations and new technologies are creating a demand for skilled workers.

4. It requires that a program participant be given information about the family development account program under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 10, chapter 110, subchapter 4-A and the allowable uses of such an account.

5. It adds a requirement that a participant be offered comprehensive career planning services prior to the program’s development of an individual career plan with the participant and permits the Department of Labor to partner with other entities to provide this service. It directs the department to include in this partnership, at a minimum, the Maine Community College System with respect to participants enrolled or seeking enrollment in a training or education course provided by the Maine Community College System. It also directs the Maine Community College System to assist the Department of Labor in program management and oversight for such participants.

6. It repeals the January 1, 2020 repeal provision on the eligibility for the program of a full-time student at a public secondary school enrolled in a career and technical education program at a career and technical education center or a career and technical education region.

This amendment also amends the laws governing the employment of minors 16 and 17 years of age, providing that such a minor may be employed in an otherwise hazardous occupation for which the minor has been trained or certified from a vocational, career and technical or cooperative education program approved by the Department of Education only if the minor has graduated from the program and has graduated from high school.

Updated: April 18, 2018

660: An Act To Allow Credit and Debit Card Surcharges

Category: General Business | Status: Defeated

Placed in the Legislative Files. (DEAD)

This RAM and MGFPA initiated bill would permit retailers to impose a surcharge on a customer using a credit card or debit cards.

Updated: March 28, 2018

LD 625: An Act To Prohibit the Location of a Marijuana Facility within 2,000 Feet of a House of Public Worship or Property Associated with a House of Public Worship

Category: General Business | Status: Defeated

3/27/2018 – Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

This bill prohibits a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club from being located within 2,000 feet of a house of public worship or property associated with a house of public worship.

Updated: March 27, 2018

433: An Act To Allow Municipalities To Apply a Local Option Sales Tax to the Sale of Marijuana

Category: Marijuana | Status: Defeated

4/5/18 – Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

This bill allows a municipality that approves the location of a retail marijuana store or a retail marijuana social club to impose a local option sales tax. Revenue from the local option sales tax after deduction for the cost of state administration is distributed to the municipality

Updated: April 5, 2018

LD 173: An Act To End Food Insecurity

Category: General Business | Status: Pending

6/6/2017 Senate On motion by Senator HAMPER of Oxford PLACED
ON THE SPECIAL APPROPRIATIONS TABLE pending ENACTMENT

This would provide an ongoing general fund allocation of $5 million to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

Updated: January 8, 2018