The Joint Standing Committee on Labor and Housing spent a large portion of the Second Session dealing with bills left over from the First Session. While that may not sound unusual, it was worth the wait, given the outcomes on these issues of significance to the business community. In order of importance, they are:
There are many things that made the 130th Legislature challenging and different from any other session. One was the virtual nature of the committee process. Participating in public hearings and work sessions were certainly part of that challenge. Another was the contentiousness of both the legislature itself and the legislation brought forth. It was unfortunate that so much time was spent in the Labor and Housing committee considering bills that pitted employees against employers, when so many businesses and business owners made every possible effort to take care of and work with their workers during the pandemic. Looking at the various proposals outlined in this article one would believe the exact opposite was true.
While it is unclear whether any of the unsuccessful proposals from this session will turn up again next year, it is virtually certain that the paid family medical leave benefits proposal will return. The workplace is changing in ways that were not imaginable before the pandemic. How that translates into legislation and new laws is unclear. We know there will be new and unexpected challenges in returning workers to the workplace, but what new bills might result from that return is unknown. We also know that, no matter the legislative challenge, the Maine State Chamber’s Advocacy team will be there making sure your voice is heard and your concerns are voiced. For questions or additional information, please contact Peter Gore by calling (207) 623-4568, ext. 107, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.