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ME State Chamber of Commerce: Legislative Week Ahead 6/5-6/9, 2017

Don’t miss The Legislative Week Ahead this week!

Less than 21 days left before statutory adjournment day, and there’s plenty of work to get done before then.

Most importantly, the state budget needs to be enacted by the end of June to avoid a fiscal crisis. The Appropriations committee met through the weekend and has voted out three different reports: One from the committee’s Democrats, one from the committee’s Senate Republicans, and one for the committee’s House Republicans. The big issue for the budget, and of this session, is the increased funding for education, and each of the three committee reports handle that differently. Under current statute, 55% funding of education totals $94 million.

In addition, the Taxation committee held a public hearing on LD 1618 on a proposal to increase income tax to 16.3% on incomes over $125,000. We opposed that proposal, as well as a suggestion to carry the bill over to next year’s second session. Mandatory paid sick leave should be defeated this week, and the fate of minimum wage bills and the return of the tip credit are yet to be decided. Of course, bond proposals need to wait for the passage of the budget. There are a high number of divided reports to be dealt with as the legislature works toward adjournment.

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.