NFIB Maine Preview of the 2024 Legislative Session


NFIB will be notifying members of opportunities to engage on key issues.

Legislators reconvened in Augusta on January 3 for the 2024 legislative session. This is the “short session” because the target adjournment date is mid-April and the volume of bills to consider is much smaller than last year. However, the significance of some bills is high. Proposed statutory language is not available for several bills.

https://legislature.maine.gov/

Labor

  • Prevent wrongful firing of Maine workers (LD 324)
  • Improve labor conditions for Maine workers (LD 373)
  • Improve the unemployment insurance system (LD 322)
  • Increase enforcement and accountability for wage & hour violations (LD 372)
  • Remove the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits (LD 1464)
  • Index workers’ compensation benefits to the rate of inflation (LD 1896)
  • Increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour (LD 1376 as amended)
  • Require disclosure of pay ranges in job postings (LD 936 as amended)
  • Ensure a fair workweek (LD 1190 as amended)
  • Revised rules regarding the assessment of civil penalties (no LD yet)

Taxation

  • Repeal the law limiting the municipal property tax levy (LD 2102)
  • Allow a local option sales tax on lodging (LD 1298)
  • Create a pass-through entity tax to fund a child care tax credit (LD 1891)
  • Require corporations that file a Maine tax return to file a tax disclosure statement (LD 1337)
  • Provide tax relief for working families (LD 1010)

Environment

  • Advance clean cars and light-duty trucks rulemaking (no LD yet)

Utilities

  • Increase the number of commissioners on the Public Utilities Commission (LD 2127)
  • Ensure the Maine electric grid provides additional benefits to ratepayers (LD 589)

Health Insurance

  • Various mandated benefit coverages (LD 132, LD 663, LD 1577)
  • Regarding health care in the State (LD 227)
  • Lower the State’s health care costs (LD 307)

Business

  • Create a data privacy and protection law (LD 1973, LD 1977)
  • Require notification of business mergers and establish a right of action for “abuse of dominance” (LD 1815)

 

Action is also taking place at the state agency level of key issues.

Retirement Savings Program

  • Employers of 5 or more workers will be required to register (deadlines vary by size)
  • Voluntary participation by employees begins January 2025
  • NFIB will be alerting members on how the program works & employer responsibilities

https://meritsaves.org/

Paid Family & Medical Leave

  • Implementation gets underway in 2024
  • Listening sessions by the Maine Department of Labor begin January 25, 2024
  • Rulemaking is expected to begin in April 2024
  • Tax assessments on employers and employees begins in January 2025
  • Paid leave benefits begin in May 2026
  • NFIB will be alerting members on how to participate in various implementation activities

www.maine.gov/labor/pfml/

Advanced Clean Cars & Light-Duty Vehicles Rules (Ch. 127)

  • Proposed rules to sharply reduce availability of gas-powers cars and light-duty vehicles
  • NFIB submitted comments that expressed concern about the economic impacts on small businesses, employees and customers as well as objecting to a major public policy directive being made without specific approval of the legislature and governor.
  • Legislators and Governor Mills are expected to weigh in on the issue during the 2024 session

www.maine.gov/dep/rules/index.html

Revised Bureau of Labor Standards rules regarding assessment of civil money penalties (Ch. 9)

  • Proposed rules in part to “simplify and increase the effectiveness” of these administrative penalties
  • NFIB submitted comments that in part objected to proposed fine-mitigation requirement that a business owner show “remorse” by providing an aggrieved employee with a written apology and written explanation of any actions made to avoid a repeat violation.
  • Draft final rules will go to the legislature for possible revision and approval.

www.maine.gov/labor/proposedrulemaking/

NFIB will be notifying members of opportunities to engage on key issues as well as opportunities to become more educated on how they may be affected by the retirement savings program and paid family leave law.





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