Kennebec Valley Chamber

Serving the Kennebec Valley, Maine Region

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March 2019 Newsletter

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Advocacy

The Chamber’s Advocacy Committee has begun meeting on your behalf to survey the current legislative landscape and the great number of bills currently being considered that could have significant impact on your business. Understanding that the KV Chamber represents a diversity of views on any given policy issue, it is the mission of the Advocacy Committee to keep you informed of proposed legislation and aware of the opportunities for members to participate in the legislative process. It is also our aim to respectfully advocate for those positions in which the Chamber community is in substantial agreement.

Today’s Reality

With the dramatic swing of political majorities in Augusta this past election, it should come as no surprise that a wide range of initiatives are gaining traction in the 129th Legislature, many of which would entail significant impacts on doing business in Maine. It is imperative that the business community be engaged in the process so that the legislative decisions that are ultimately made are ones that are informed by our testimony and experience and cognizant of their real impacts to our businesses and our employees. 
 
We encourage you to stay tuned to these updates, reach out to us with any questions, and respectfully engage with your government. It would be too simplistic to characterize today’s reality as just a swing of the pendulum; but power has shifted significantly nevertheless, and it is a reflection of the will of our people. Our strongest position in today’s reality, together as a Chamber and also as individuals representing our businesses, is to be a clear, thoughtful, and respectful voice in our public debates, relying on the strength of facts and real world experience, and recognizing the good intentions around the table which motivate the majority of those involved in the legislative process.
 
If you wish to participate in the Legislative process, you can track bills of interest by utilizing the following step-by-step instructions. 

List of Legislation

Bills that have been assigned an LD#, printed, and referenced to their committee of jurisdiction
  • Click on the numerical sequence hyperlink where the bill of interest would be found
  • Scroll down, identify the bill of interest, and click on that hyperlink
  • To read the text of the bill of interest, click on the “Printed Document PDF” icon
  • To understand where the bill of interest stands in the committee process, click on the “Status in Committee” hyperlink on left side of page
  • Once the bill of interest has been voted out of committee, click on the “Chamber Status” hyperlink on the left side of the page

Public Hearings and Work Sessions

  • Decide how you would like to view the scheduling information i.e. by day, committee, prime sponsor, or everything for today, and click on the tab.
  • Then, utilizing the drop down list, choose how many days out you’d like to view the schedule. You can view from a single day to 180 days in advance.
  • Then, click on the “show schedule” icon.

Bills We Are Monitoring

EDUCATION AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS

LD161 - An Act To Increase Access to Career and Technical Education- Sen. Woodsome (R - York)

LD406- An Act To Establish Regional School Leadership Academies- Rep. Kornfield (D - Bangor)

LD504 - An Act To Enhance the Development of Innovative Career and Technical Education Programs- Rep. Higgins (I - Dover-Foxcroft)

ENERGY, UTILITIES AND TECHNOLOGY

LD41 - An Act To Replace Net Energy Billing with a Market-based Mechanism- Rep. O’Connor (R -Berwick)

LD91 - An Act To Eliminate Gross Metering- Rep. Berry (D - Bowdoinham)

LD173 - An Act To Promote Economic Development and Critical Communications for Family Farms, Businesses and Residences by Strategic Public Investment in High-speed Internet- Rep. McCrea (D - Fort Fairfield)

LD946 - An Act To Protect the Privacy of Online Customer Information- Sen. Bellows (D - Kennebec)

LABOR AND HOUSING

LD75 - An Act To Protect Earned Pay- Sen. Herbig (D - Waldo)

LD81 - An Act To Clarify Maine Law Regarding the Tips of Service Employees- Rep. Fecteau (D - Biddeford)

LD 122 &123: An Act To Prohibit an Employer from Asking a Prospective Hire about the Person's Compensation History until after a Job Offer Is Made- Rep. Bryant (D - Windham)

LD312 -An Act To Reduce the Cost of Workers' Compensation Insurance for Small Employers- Rep. Handy (D - Lewiston)

LD369 - An Act To Support Healthy Workplaces and Healthy Families by Providing Earned Paid Sick Leave to Certain Employees- Sen. Millett (D - Cumberland)

LD402 - An Act To Restore Overtime Protections for Maine Workers- Rep. Tipping (D - Orono)

LD425- An Act To Strengthen Small Businesses in Rural Maine by Changing the Minimum Wage

LD434 - An Act To Price Carbon Pollution in Maine- Rep. Rykerson (D - Kittery)

LD596 - An Act To Prevent the Closure of Maine Businesses- Sen. Jackson (D - Aroostook)

LD612 - An Act To Promote Youth Employment Rep. Bradstreet (R - Vassalboro)

LD670 - An Act To Increase the Minimum Wage for Large Employers- Rep. Collings (D - Portland)

LD733 - An Act To Promote Keeping Workers in Maine- Rep. Schneck (D - Bangor)

LD739 - An Act To Help Small Businesses by Establishing an Alternate Minimum Wage- Rep. Rudnicki (R - Fairfield)

LD808 - An Act To Create a Youth Wage- Sen. Timberlake (R - Androscoggin)

LD830 - An Act To Balance Maine's Minimum Wage for Small and Large Employers- Rep. Stetkis (R - Canaan)

LD947 - An Act To Extend the Notice of Injury Period in the Maine Workers' Compensation Act of 1992- Sen. Bellows (D - Kennebec)

LD1013 - An Act To Clarify the Disqualification from Unemployment Benefits of a Person Who Is Terminated from Employment for Being Under the Influence of Marijuana- Sen. Cyrway (R - Kennebec)

LD1098- An Act To Help Small Employers by Making the Minimum Wage Increase More Gradual in Nonurban Areas

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES

LD102 - An Act To Improve the Manufacturing of Plastic Bottles and Bottle Caps- Rep. Doudera (D - Camden)

LD289 - An Act To Prohibit the Use of Certain Disposable Food Service Containers- Rep. Zeigler (D - Montville)

LD416 - An Act To Allow Eating Establishments To Permit Smoking Tobacco in Designated Outdoor Eating Areas- Rep. Andrews (R - Paris)

LD505 - An Act To Require the Use of Reusable Food Ware at Eating Establishments- Rep. Rykerson (D - Kittery)

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

LD724 - An Act To Amend the Maine Background Check Center Act To Provide Employers Flexibility To Use Approved Alternate Vendors- Rep. Fay (D - Raymond)

HEALTH COVERAGE, INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES

LD942 - An Act To Require Reimbursement for Medical Marijuana- Rep. Collings (D - Portland)

VETERANS AND LEGAL AFFAIRS

LD252 - RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Prohibit New or Increased Fees or Taxes by Means of Direct Initiatives of Legislation- Sen. Timberlake (R - Androscoggin)

INNOVATION, DEVELOPMENT, ECONOMIC ADVANCEMENT AND BUSINESS

LD371 - An Act To Create The Small Communities Tourism Fund- Sen. Herbig (D - Waldo)

LD813 - Resolve, To Encourage Relocation of Working Professionals- Sen. Chenette (D - York)

LD897- An Act To Restore Funding for the Capital Riverfront Improvement District -Sen. Pouliot (R - Kennebec)

JUDICIARY

LD60 - An Act To Require the Disclosure of the Names of Members of a Limited Liability Company- Rep. Fecteau (D - Biddeford)

LD666 - An Act To Protect Pregnant Workers- Rep. Carney (D - Cape Elizabeth)

TAXATION

LD70 - An Act To Support the Trades through a Tax Credit for Apprenticeship Programs- Sen. Herbig (D - Waldo)

LD420 - An Act To Amend the Maine Exclusion Amount in the Estate Tax- Rep. Collings (D - Portland)

LD483 - An Act To Improve the Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit Program- Sen. Pouliot (R - Kennebec)

LD607 - An Act To Provide Equitable Taxation for the Food and Beverage Industry - Sen. Guerin (R - Penobscot)

LD725 - An Act To Provide an Income Tax Credit To Encourage Small Business Hiring- Rep. Fay (D - Raymond)

LD903 - An Act To Improve Corporate Tax Fairness by Amending the Rates Imposed on Corporate Income- Rep. Cuddy (D - Winterport)

TRANSPORTATION

LD165 - An Act To Prohibit the Use of Handheld Phones and Devices While Driving -Sen. Diamond (D -Cumberland)

BILLS WE WERE MONITORING (DEAD)

LD14 - An Act To Improve Science and Engineering Education for Maine's Students- Rep. Devin (D - Newcastle)

LD288 - Resolve, Establishing the Commission To Create a Statewide Economic Development Plan- Rep. Tepler (D - Topsham)