Legislative Update – February 2, 2024

This again was a busy week as committees picked up the pace ahead of the deadline that was set to address carry over bills. That deadline has come and gone, yet work continues on that front. In addition to committee work, this week Governor Mills delivered her State of the State Address. This year, Governor Mills took a new approach to the delivery of this address, breaking it into two parts.

Part one was submitted Tuesday morning to the Legislature in the form of a letter. Themes included in this letter were the need for fiscal prudence this year, investments made through the Maine Jobs Recovery Plan to build our economy and support child care, the new Dirigo Business Incentive program that was created to address workforce issues and attacked high-value industries, and more. The letter can be found here.

Part two of her address was delivered before the House and Senate Tuesday evening. Themes of her speech included the threat of climate change on Maine’s infrastructure and communities and her policy response to the Lewiston shooting that occurred in October. Her speech can be found here.


On Tuesday, the Taxation Committee held a work session on a bill that we oppose, LD 1337, “An Act to Require a Corporation That Files a Tax Return in the State to File a Tax Disclosure Statement.” The committee considered an amendment that would limit the scope to publicly traded corporations. Like the Maine Revenue Service, we remain opposed to this bill, even as amended.


On Wednesday, we were again in the TAX Committee as it held work sessions on two child care related bills that we support, LD 1891, “An Act to Support Maine Businesses Through a Child Care Tax Credit and a Pass-through Entity Tax” and a bill that we helped to draft, LD 1222, “An Act to Expand Child Care Services Through an Employer-supported Tax Credit.”

After discussion by the committee, it seems likely that it will use LD 1891 as a vehicle to follow in the footsteps of the majority of states in creating a pass-through entity tax that would reduce tax liability for certain businesses while also generating revenue for the state. The committee seems inclined to then use our bill, LD 1222, as a vehicle to address the high cost of child care. During the work session, we had the opportunity to again speak with the committee about the importance of taking steps to bring affordability more in line for Maine families to give both parents the opportunity to fully participate in the workforce.

Both bills were tabled to give the committee more time to work on each issue.


Also on Wednesday, the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee voted in favor of an amended version bill that we oppose, LD 1349, “An Act to Review State Lands and Waterways That Have Sacred, Traditional or Other Significance to the Wabanaki People.” As stated in our testimony, our primary concern with this bill is the idea of transferring the state’s water resources, which include coastal waters, tidal rivers, great ponds, boundary rivers and navigable rivers. Water resources are publicly owned because we all have a vested interest in them. The implications of this bill would be severe, especially for our industry.


On Thursday, the Labor and Housing Committee voted along party lines in support of a bill that the Maine State Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes, and we’d like to bring that bill to your attention as well. As amended, supporters of LD 1496, “An Act to Prohibit Noncompete Clauses” claim that the definition of “trade secrets” in the amendment adequately protects Maine employers. In reality, the definition excludes the following:

  • Unannounced acquisition or expansion
  • Unannounced products or services
  • Strategic plans
  • Unannounced financial information
  • Investment in training

This bill presents a big problem for businesses that operate in Maine. We need to keep NON-COMPETE agreements as is!

Please contact your State Senator and State Representative today and urge them to OPPOSE L.D. 1496. 


Next week, we anticipate testifying on two bills, both of which are scheduled for Tuesday. The first bill is LD 2169, “An Act to Support the Development of Workforce Housing to Promote Economic Development in Maine.” This bill, which we support, would establish a loan fund to support the development of affordable workforce housing.

The second bill, which we oppose, is LD 2101, “An Act to Strengthen Shoreland Zoning Enforcement.” This bill would allow a municipality or the LUPC to revoke all permits issued to a landowner who violates a shoreland zoning ordinance, also authorizing issuance of a lien against that property. The Council views this bill as a heavy handed, broad and overly punitive solution to a specific issue occurring in one town.

We are sure that more bills will be worked, but here’s a look at the week ahead as it stands right now. As always, if you have any questions about these bills or any others, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Pat and Krysta

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