Maine Economic Research Institute announces re-establishment of research, reporting on key economic policies and legislation
MERI’s mission to strengthen Maine’s business climate includes rating state legislators on “Watch List” bills that impact Maine’s economy
The Maine Economic Research Institute, (MERI), announced today it is re-establishing its research and reporting on key state economic policies, legislation, and state legislator votes. Guided by Maine’s Economic Development Strategy, MERI provides non-partisan, objective information on the economic impact of state policies and legislative proposals, as well as state legislator votes. MERI’s goal is to improve economic policy development in Maine; and strengthen Maine’s business climate, competitiveness, and overall economy.
MERI’s research, recently remodeled to highlight the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Maine’s economy, is grounded in Maine’s Economic Development Strategy and Maine Development Foundation’s annual Measures of Growth report. For its research and reporting on the most recent legislative session - the 130th Legislature - MERI identified a “Watch List” of 60 bills that would impact Maine’s economy. MERI is in the process of researching legislator votes on each of these bills. Legislator votes, bills they sponsored, and how their votes and sponsorships serve to advance Maine’s Economic Development Strategy, will be used to tabulate individual legislator scores. This summer, legislator scores - the only research-based, objective ratings in Maine that are determined by how legislative policy impacts Maine’s economy - will be shared in MERI’s Roll Call publication.
Clif Greim, president of Frosty Hill Consulting in Auburn and recently elected chair of MERI’s Board of Directors, said, “MERI’s research and reporting are critical, especially with the enormous challenges and opportunities before us as we emerge and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these opportunities is Maine’s Economic Development Strategy, which was developed through a nonpartisan effort with a variety of stakeholders, and is widely accepted as a meaningful plan for moving Maine’s economy forward. Benchmarked against key goals and measures, MERI’s analysis serves as an important source of objective information for all Maine voters, employers; and anyone looking to live, work, or do business in Maine.”
MERI’s “Watch List” of the 60 bills it is tracking in the 130th Maine Legislature cover workforce development, taxation, labor, health care, energy, the environment, education, child care, and more. The full “Watch List” can be found here or at https://www.mainechamber.org/maine-economic-research-institute-meri.html.
In addition to Clif Greim’s election as chair of MERI’s Board of Directors, Kimberly Lindlof, president and CEO of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Central Maine Growth Council was recently elected vice chair. Simon West of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce is MERI’s president.
MERI is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization governed by a board of directors that includes Maine business owners, CEOs, and representatives from a diverse group of Maine employers. MERI’s board, advisors, and staff are focused on creating a healthy Maine economy, strong businesses, and quality jobs. MERI is affiliated with 11 statewide business associations and is administered by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.