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ME State Chamber of Commerce: Legislative Week Ahead 5/15-5/19, 2017

Don’t miss The Legislative Week Ahead this week!

The legislative committees didn’t finish its work by the May 12 deadline, but are definitely getting close to wrapping up that part of the process. There is approximately one month before statutory adjournment (June 21) so the pace will definitely be picking up very soon.

A new episode of our Legislative Week Ahead is now posted online at www.mainechamber.org/legweekahead.php.  This video snapshot of our most critical legislative issues provides our members with a weekly video forecast of the wide variety of issues facing lawmakers in Augusta during the upcoming week. Our Advocacy team breaks down the issues and what they mean to your business.

This week’s highlights include:
*     In the Taxation committee, we will oppose a proposal to limit TIFs to finance, tech, manufacturing. This limits the use of TIFs and prevents other sectors, such as retail, from its benefits.
*     The Energy, Utilities, and Technology committee will hold a public hearing on LD 131, An Act To Protect the Biomass Industry (Sen. Saviello of Franklin) as well as several work sessions on solar and alternative energy, and report backs from earlier hearings.
*     The Education and Cultural Affairs committee continues work sessions this week. And, the Natural Resources committee has finished its work for this session.
*     The Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development committee worked their way through 40 pieces of legislation between public hearings and work sessions. Among the most noteworthy, the committee voted 11-2 to reinstate the tip credit, with an emergency clause to be enacted in time for this summer’s tourist season. It will now proceed to the full legislature for debate.  Paid family medical leave funded by employees is also up for review this week.
*     And of course, the Appropriations committee is still working on the state budget, which needs to be finished and voted on before the legislature can adjourn.