The latest edition of our Impact newsletter is now available!
Weekly edition of IMPACT, a publication of the Maine State Chamber | March 24-25, 2022
“Dark Stores” bill passes House and Senate
Maine State Chamber opposed bill
As of publication deadline, the Maine House of Representatives has voted mostly along party lines (76-53) to enact LD 1129, An Act Relating to the Valuation of Improved Real Property, sponsored by Rep. Ann Matlack (D-St. George). The Maine State Chamber testified in opposition to LD 1129 at the public hearing.
Camp tax defeated
Maine State Chamber worked to defeat LD 1337
On March 22 the Maine State Senate voted 31 to 3 – joining the Maine House of Representatives, which had previously voted 76 to 53 – in rejecting the “ought to pass as amended” motion on LD 1337, An Act To Increase Affordable Housing And Decrease Property Taxes Through An Impact Fee On Vacant Residences. Known as the “Camp Tax,” LD 1337 was sponsored by Rep. Christopher Kessler (D-South Portland).
Maine State Chamber testifies in support of bill to allow energy storage facilities to qualify for BETE
On Wednesday, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce testified in support of LD 2030, An Act Regarding the Taxation of Energy Storage Systems and Equipment, sponsored by Rep. Maureen Terry (D-Gorham). The bill would create an exemption from sales and use tax for the sales of commercial energy storage systems and related parts and construction. It also provides that such property qualifies under the Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE) program.
Dana Connors: New federal program can help more Mainers afford an internet connection
Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of high-speed internet. The best way to accomplish that goal is also the simplest — help those who can’t afford it to sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program and promote programs that will teach Mainers the skills they need to get connected.
Jason Judd: Child care providers are essential to Maine’s economic growth
The past two years have made it undeniably clear how important child care is to the functioning of our economy. Parents have juggled child rearing and work simultaneously, while businesses came face to face with the reality that, without reliable child care, parents can’t work. That connection between child care and employment makes addressing parents’ barriers to high-quality child care a priority issue for business leaders.
Maine Voices: Child care providers are the workforce behind the workforce
One of the starkest challenges during the pandemic has been the lack of child care for working parents. As Portland business leaders, child care is one of our top concerns as we work to recruit and retain workers. Simply put: if parents do not have child care, they cannot go to work.
LD 1634 receives a majority “ought not to pass” report
Last week, the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities, and Technology (EUT) committee had a work session on LD 1634, An Act To Create the Maine Generation Authority, introduced by Rep. Nicole Grohoski (D-Ellsworth). LD 1634 was carried over from the First Session of the 130th Maine Legislature and was the Maine State Chamber’s top “carryover of concern” in the EUT committee this session. We are happy to report that the majority report on LD 1634 will be “ought not to pass” with the two Democratic senators – Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Eloise Vitelli, and Senate Chair, Sen. Mark Lawrence – voting against this legislation and siding with the five Republicans on the committee to make the majority report “ought not to pass” by a vote of 7 to 6.
Congress considers FAIR Act that would eliminate arbitration for Maine businesses
Maine citizens and businesses could lose one of the most effective ways to resolve disputes between them, if Congress passes the so-called FAIR Act now being debated in Washington.
MaineDOT assembles Offshore Wind Port Advisory Group
On Friday, March 25, the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) announced the creation of an Offshore Wind Port Advisory Group (OSWPAG). This group will advise MaineDOT and other state officials regarding the potential development of wind port facilities needed for Maine to realize the environmental and economic benefits of the rapidly developing offshore wind market. Such facilities are integral to advancing the University of Maine's patented floating offshore wind technology and attracting offshore wind industry investment to Maine.
Technical center students selected for prestigious summer research internship
Hancock County Technical Center and Lewiston Regional Technical Center students selected for Aspirnaut Summer Research Internship
Three Maine technical center students have been selected to join high school students from around the country to attend a paid summer research internship in the Aspirnaut™ program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee. Olivia Servidio, Katherine Gell and Elizabeth Leaf were selected from a pool of 200 applicants from around the country.