Legislation of Interest

An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Government Oversight Committee To Improve the Development of a Long-range Strategic Plan for Economic Improvement in the State

Summary: This bill provides additional clarity, requirements and resources for the Maine Economic Growth Council’s efforts to fulfill its current statutory mandate to develop, monitor and maintain a long-range strategic economic improvement plan for the State. It also includes provisions to support the State’s achievement of the goals and objectives in that plan by establishing requirements for the Governor, Legislature and agencies with relevant programs and activities to consider the long-range strategic economic improvement plan and provide information to the Maine Economic Growth Council at the request of the council.

An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Task Force on Health Care Coverage for All of Maine

Summary: This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Health Care Coverage for All of Maine.

An Act To Require the Disclosure of the Names of Members of a Limited Liability Company

Summary: This bill requires the disclosure of the name of each member of a limited liability company formed in Maine to be included in the company’s certificate of formation and the name of each member to be included in the company’s annual report to the Secretary of State. The bill also requires the disclosure of the name of each member of a foreign limited liability company in the company’s statement of foreign qualifications to conduct activities. The bill also requires that if any member of a limited liability company or foreign limited liability company is an organization, the names of each person who forms that organization’s governing body be listed.

An Act To Allow Municipalities To Impose a Seasonal or Year-round Local Option Sales Tax

Summary: This bill allows a municipality to impose a local option sales tax, which may be seasonal, if approved by referendum of the voters in that municipality. The referendum question must identify the rate of the local option sales tax, specify the months during which it will be imposed if not year-round and identify the purposes for which the revenue will be used. The local option sales tax would be collected and administered by the State in the same manner as the sales and use tax. Revenue from the local option sales tax is distributed to the municipality imposing the local option sales tax. Revenue received by a municipality may not be used to reduce or eliminate funding otherwise due the municipality under other provisions of law.

An Act To Provide Economic Security to Maine Families through the Creation of a Paid Family Medical Leave System

Summary: This bill creates a paid family medical leave program, patterned after the unpaid family medical leave program existing in current law but requiring a contribution from an eligible employee, or a self-employed person on a voluntary basis, of no more than 0.5% of the employee’s or self-employed person’s wages or earnings. The program requires employers to deduct the contributions from employee paychecks and requires the employers and self-employed persons to submit contributions to the Department of Labor, Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, which is charged with administering the program. The program pays benefits of up to 66% of an employee’s wages or self-employed person’s earnings, capped at the same maximum amount as unemployment benefits for leave taken by the employee or self-employed person for various family-related medical issues. The bill makes participation optional for employers that employ fewer than 15 employees. The bill also directs the Department of Labor to develop an implementation plan dealing with staffing, technology, start-up expenses, rulemaking and scheduling to begin the program on its effective date of October 1, 2020.

An Act To Support the Trades through a Tax Credit for Apprenticeship Programs

Summary: This bill permits an employer who employs an apprentice participating in an approved apprenticeship program to receive a tax credit and provides for a partial credit if the employer employs a participating apprentice for fewer than 2,000 hours during a calendar year.

An Act To Protect Earned Pay

Summary: Under current law, a person who receives or is scheduled to receive remuneration in the form of vacation pay in excess of 4 weeks’ wages or holiday pay is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for the week that remuneration is due. This bill removes those disqualifications.

An Act To Prohibit an Employer from Asking a Prospective Hire about the Person’s Compensation History until after a Job Offer Is Made

Summary: This bill prohibits an employer from inquiring about a prospective employee’s compensation history until after an offer of employment that includes all terms of compensation has been negotiated and made to the prospective employee. The bill also prohibits an employer from requiring that a prospective employee’s compensation history meet certain criteria. An employer that violates this provision is subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500 per violation and is also subject to a civil action that may be brought by or on behalf of an affected prospective employee by the Department of Labor or the affected employee.

An Act To Allow Regional Service Center Municipalities To Assess an Additional One Percent Sales Tax for Infrastructure Costs

Summary: This bill allows a municipality that is a service center community to impose a local option sales tax of no more than 1% by local referendum for the purpose of funding local infrastructure costs.

An Act To Convene a Working Group To Authorize a Public Trust for Maine’s Groundwater and To Impose a 2-year Moratorium on Large-scale Groundwater Extraction

Summary: This bill imposes a 2-year moratorium, beginning November 1, 2019, on new contracts or agreements by a consumer-owned water utility, municipality, state agency or other governmental entity involving the extraction of more than 75,000 gallons of groundwater during any week or more than 50,000 gallons of groundwater on any day. The bill also directs the Commissioner of Environmental Protection to convene a working group to develop the statutory and regulatory framework for the establishment of the Maine Water Trust, which must be designed to ensure a safe and plentiful drinking water supply for all residents of the State by regulating the use of groundwater for commercial purposes under laws that establish the absolute control and dominion of the State over all groundwater supplies in the State. The commissioner must, on or before January 15, 2021, report the recommendations of the working group to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over environment and natural resources matters, which may report out a bill to implement those recommendations to the First Regular Session of the 130th Legislature.

An Act To Improve Pay for Certain Maine Workers

Summary: This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact measures designed to improve compensation for certain workers in the State.

An Act Regarding Pay Equality

Summary: This bill amends the Maine Human Rights Act to provide that evidence of discrimination with respect to compensation includes an employer seeking information about a prospective employee’s prior wage history before an offer of employment, including all compensation, to the prospective employee has been made. It provides that this discrimination is also evidenced by an employer requiring that a prospective employee’s prior compensation history meet certain criteria. The bill broadens a provision in the current equal pay law to prohibit an employer from preventing employees from discussing or disclosing other employees’ wages and makes the practice a violation of the Maine Human Rights Act as well.

An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Increase Rural Maine’s Access to Broadband Internet Service

Summary: The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $100,000,000, will be used for the provision of broadband Internet service in unserved and underserved areas through ConnectME Authority grants to partnerships between private, municipal and nongovernmental service providers.

An Act To Protect Job Applicants from Identity Theft

Summary: This bill prohibits the request of a social security number from a prospective employee by an employer on an employment application or during the application process. Under this bill, an employer may still request a social security number from a prospective employee for purposes of a substance abuse test or preemployment background check, and an employer is not prohibited from asking for a social security number from an individual for any reason after the individual has been hired.

An Act To Eliminate the Sub-minimum Wage for Workers with Disabilities and Agricultural and Tipped Workers

Summary: This bill eliminates current exemptions from the minimum wage law that allow the payment of wages at less than the minimum wage rate to individuals employed in certain agricultural jobs, to individuals employed in service jobs in which tipping is customary and to certain individuals with disabilities, effective October 1, 2019.