This Week in Augusta – 03.20.2017 edition

Date: March 20, 2017

SESSION

Tuesday – Senate & House, 10 a.m.

Thursday – Senate & House, 10 a.m.

http://legislature.maine.gov/

 

LEGISLATION

LD 1037 – LD 1113 printed

New titles of interest include:

  • Expand access to Medicaid/MaineCare as encouraged by Obamacare (Citizen Initiative – LD 1039)
  • Require health insurance coverage of medical marijuana (LD 1064)
  • Require workplace posters include notification of potential eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (LD 1088)

 

3% INCOME SURTAX HEARINGS SCHEDULED

NFIB, other groups, and individuals will be testifying Monday on bills (details below) aimed at repealing or modifying the economically damaging 3% income surtax narrowly approved (50.6% – 49.4%) by voters last November as part of the Question 2 proposal to increase state funding of K-12 education. The Maine Education Association (teachers union) and Maine People’s Alliance, both of which led the 2016 referendum campaign in favor of Question 2, are strongly opposed to repeal. NFIB is part of the Keep Maine Competitive coalition that supports full repeal of the surtax. NFIB will testify that full repeal or complete mitigation of the surtax is the only approach that stops the economic damage already occurring as a result of Maine now having the 2nd highest tax rate in the nation.

 

NOTABLE HEARINGS SCHEDULED

Here is a schedule of hearings on selected issues that may interest small business owners:

Mar. 20, 1 p.m. – Taxation

  • Decrease tax rate on income above $200,000 to 4.15% so that addition of 3% surtax will equal the 2016 top rate of 7.15% (LD 291)
  • Repeal the 3% surtax imposed on income above $200,000 (LD 337)
  • Eliminate the 3% surtax and replace lost revenue with revenue from tax on recreational marijuana and surplus revenues in the General Fund (LD 571)
  • Increase 3% surtax income thresholds to $300,000 for heads of households and $400,000 for married taxpayers filing joint returns (LD 829)
  • Repeal the 3% surtax and revote the issue in a November 2018 referendum question (LD 851)

 

Mar. 22, 10 a.m. – Labor, Research, Commerce & Economic Development

  • Require paid parental leave for employees (LD 554)
  • Eliminate partial offset of vacation pay for unemployment claimants (LD 563)
  • Protect job applicants from having to reveal Social Security number (LD 613)
  • Address unmet workforce needs of employers (LD 669)
  • Establish the Maine Paid Family Leave insurance program (LD 701)

 

Mar. 27, 10 a.m. – Labor, Research, Commerce & Economic Development

  • Modify unemployment benefits work search requirement for certain seasonal claimants in temporary layoff status (LD 700)
  • Exempt certain seasonally unemployed construction workers and loggers from unemployment benefits work search requirement (LD 962)

 

Mar. 28, 1 p.m. – Insurance & Financial Services

  • Eliminate health insurance rating based on age, geographic location or smoking history, and reduce rate maximum variability due to group size (LD 769)

 

NOTABLE WORK SESSIONS SCHEDULED

Here is a schedule of work sessions on selected issues that may interest small business owners:

Mar. 23, 1 p.m. – Insurance & Financial Services

  • Require health insurance coverage of hearing aids (LD 192)

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