This Week in Augusta – 04.24.2017 editionNew legislation is still trickling out as legislators grind away with busy committee schedules and mid to late May deadlines to send bills to the floor for action by the full legislature. This week the Maine Economic Growth Council will release its latest “Measures of Growth” report on various factors seen as important to the Maine economy.
This Week in Augusta – 04.03.2017 editionFinally, it’s April and the legislative session has passed the halfway point toward a late-June adjournment. Bills are still being printed, and the listing of hearings and work sessions is growing rapidly. Most of the work – vetting bills, issuing reports, holding floor debates and voting – is yet to be done. Scores of people are expected to attend hearings Wednesday on controversial minimum wage legislation. The Taxation Committee is expected to report back to the Appropriations Committee at some point this month with its recommendations on tax provisions in the Governor’s proposed 2018-2019 State Budget. The report back is expected to split along party lines on moving toward a single-bracket 5.75% flat-rate income tax for individuals, eliminating the Maine Estate Tax, raising the lodging tax to 10%, and expanding the sales tax to numerous services.
Workers' Compensation BattlesNFIB is working to protect business owners from renewed attempts by labor unions and their trial lawyer friends to advance legislation that would raise the cost of benefits and inject more disputes over the settlement of injury claims. Maine ranked 4th highest in the nation for the 2009-2012 increase in benefit costs per $100 of covered wages.
State Fiscal Policy ReformNFIB is working to educate lawmakers on the need for spending reform at the state and municipal levels, so that any tax reform enacted does not make excessive spending a bigger problem, and educating lawmakers on the importance of more private sector jobs and business investment as a critical component of fiscal policy.