This Week in Augusta – 1.20.2015

Date: January 21, 2015

Legislative committee continue this week with organizational
and orientation meetings.


Senate & House Sessions – 10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday


Lawmakers, lobbyists, and many others are still digesting
the Governor’s proposed 2016-2107 State Budget and the significant tax reform
and tax relief proposal.

Governor LePage is proposing tax changes that NFIB members
have supported in the past, changes members have opposed, and changes on which they
have not yet expressed their opinion.  NFIB
Maine is working on an outline of the tax proposal in advance of asking business
owners for their views.

Meantime, here is a link to a spreadsheet prepared by Maine
Revenue Services that shows a four-year analysis of the expected fiscal

Addition information is available on the Bureau of the
Budget website as well as that of the Appropriations Committee.



A list of legislators requested bills (by title) is now
available.  The list contains 1,514
titles.  Another 147 titles were
submitted by state agencies and departments.


Legislation expected to be considered includes:


Changing penalties for writing bad checks

Making it a crime to intentionally interfere
with business operations

Prohibiting the delegation of eminent domain to
a private entity


Reducing waste caused by use of disposable bags
and  polystyrene food containers

Lowering energy costs


Expanding access to Medicaid and health

Expanding what treatments are covered by health


Establishing a paid family leave insurance

Simplifying and standardizing process for
employers to establish a drug-free workplace

Requiring at least 2 week’s advance notice of
work schedule changes for certain hourly workers

Providing workers with advance work schedules

Protecting workers from abusive work

Adopting a Retail Workers Bill of Rights

Requiring adequate rest breaks for employees

Assisting working families with young children

Protecting pre-employment credit privacy

Encouraging greater efficiency in the
unemployment insurance system

Promoting re-employment of unemployed workers

Ensuring that membership in public employee
unions is voluntary

Increasing the minimum wage and adjusting it

Clarifying the responsibilities of the executive
director of the Workers Compensation Board

Economic Development

Modernizing Maine’s economy and its workforce

Attracting entrepreneurs to Maine

Strengthening Maine’s economy and promoting job

Developing high-wage, highly-skilled jobs in


Establishing a local option sales tax

Establishing a sales tax holiday

Limiting property tax increases

Providing income tax relief

Making the income tax more progressive

Reducing property taxes by increasing the sales

Ensuring that tax expenditures (business
incentives) create high-quality jobs


Prohibiting tax-subsidized competition

Evaluating state contracts quantitatively

Improving the process of awarding state

Establishing a commission to study
transportation funding reform


Democrats announced last week their policy focus this
session will be on workforce development, job training, college affordability,
attracting young people to Maine, and creating jobs and building public-private
partnerships with businesses.  This focus
is similar to what Democrats announced two years ago.

As of today 107 bills have been printed.


Governor LePage is scheduled to deliver a “State of the
Budget” message to a joint session of the legislature at 7 p.m. on Tuesday,
February 3rd.


Governor –

Legislature –

Related Content: Small Business News | Maine

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