Happy New Year! We hope you were able to enjoy some time to recharge and celebrate the holiday season. Now that the New Year is upon us, our attention returns to the legislative arena. Legislators returned to the Statehouse on Wednesday, January 5 to begin their work for the Second Legislative Session.
In addition to its initial meeting, the full legislature is slated to meet again in person on Wed., January 26. For the month of January, legislators will hold committee meetings and public hearings virtually in an attempt to limit the spread of the omicron variant.
In addition to the several carryovers from the first session, the Legislative Council has approved 150 new bills. As always, we will be reviewing the new legislation of interest to the business community and monitoring them closely as they make their way through the legislative process. Virtual committee meetings limit our direct interaction with legislators, which is valuable to providing them with information, answers and clarifications to the intricacies and impacts of the proposals before them.
Virtual public hearings, however, may also provide our members with a better opportunity to weigh in on matters of concern to them because it minimizes the time you’d spend away from your business. The Maine State Chamber of Commerce is highly respected as Maine's leading business advocate at the Statehouse and before the state's regulatory agencies. With that said, there will never be a stronger voice in the Statehouse than yours. It is our responsibility to not only speak on your behalf but also to provide you opportunities to speak for yourself on the crucial issues facing Maine businesses.
Another way to participate in the process is to attend our public policy committee meetings. Each committee is made up of Maine State Chamber members who meet on a regular basis during the legislative session to discuss issues and to help shape Chamber policy. Working with our Board of Directors and our advocacy team, the Maine State Chamber’s public policy committees make sure that when the Maine State Chamber speaks, it reflects the concerns and priorities of our members.
These are busy times, but we “have your back” in Augusta – and we will be making sure your voice is heard. If you have any policy questions you’d like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to contact us.