Leadership Summit Follow-Up hosts legislative leadership and U.S. Chamber of Commerce for discussions about public policy priorities
In his opening remarks on Wednesday evening, board chair Clif Greim noted that it was the first time in a year that he had been a group of that size and spending the time together is important. “We speak our truth with each other,” Greim said. “We listen. We really seek to understand the other position, and then we offer our opinions. These times are invaluable and so important for all of us.”
Governor Janet Mills addressed attendees remotely from her office in Augusta. She thanked business leaders for their efforts as valued partners through the pandemic and into economic recovery. “By keeping our rates of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths low and our vaccination rates high, and maintaining our reputation as the safest state ing the nation, we’re set for a successful summer tourist season,” Governor Mills noted. “We’ll do whatever we can to keep our state safe and healthy, keep consumer confidence high, and maintain our economic recovery in all sectors – including the hospitality sector that is so vital to our economy.”
The governor also provided details about her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, which outlines how $1.13 billion state allotment to Maine from the American Rescue Plan, will be used. The Governor’s plan makes historic investments in unaddressed needs and longstanding challenges to achieve three goals - immediate economic recovery from the pandemic; long-term economic growth for Maine; and, infrastructure revitalization.
On Thursday, legislative leadership – Speaker Ryan Fecteau, Sen. Jeff Timberlake, and Rep. Kathleen Dillingham – joined business leaders for an update and discussion of legislative issues. Following that panel discussion, Neil Bradley, executive vice president, chief policy officer, and head of strategic advocacy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, provided a national policy update remotely from Washington. His presentation highlighted workforce issues, the challenges and opportunities for business in the American Rescue Plan, and the legislative opportunities and challenges at the national level.
To close out the program, Commissioner Heather Johnson of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, DOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note of the Maine Department of Transportation, and Maine Community College System President David Daigler discussed their role in implementing Maine’s allotment of the American Rescue Plan funds through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.
If you would like to view the full presentations, recordings are available online at www.mainechamber.org/ls2021followup.
Thank you to our sponsors: Wednesday’s Premier Sponsor, Verrill; Thursday’s Premier Sponsor, Pierce Atwood; Breakfast Sponsor, Spectrum Healthcare Partners; Luncheon Sponsor, Until; Snack and Coffee Bar Sponsor, Comcast; Lounge Sponsor, Charter Communications; and our Registration Sponsor, Cross Insurance. Thank you also to our Supporting Sponsors: AmeriHealth Caritas; AT&T; Bangor Savings Bank; Central Maine Power; Consolidated Communications; Cote Crane & Rigging; Eaton Peabody; Hannaford; IDEXX; MaineHealth; Martins Point; MEMIC; Serlin Haley; The Jackson Laboratory; and, Sheridan Construction.