State Legislature’s Unfinished Business

Maine’s Legislature adjourned last week when the House rejected a move approved by the Senate to extend the session by five days to resolve important unfinished business.

The Legislature will reconvene on May 2nd to deal with vetoes issued by the Governor, and may try to take up the most pressing unresolved issues, such as tax conformity and Medicaid expansion funding.

Among the many bills destined to die without final action are the MeBIC-supported  LD 1492, An Act to Attract, Educate and Retain New Mainers to Strengthen the Workforce, described in this previous post.  The bill passed in both the House and Senate with bipartisan majorities.  It then went to the Appropriations Committee for funding, from which it never emerged.

MeBIC is deeply disappointed that LD 1492, which would have helped ensure immigrant access to the English classes and other supports to aid them in reach their full potential in their communities and in Maine’s workforce, appears destined not to become law this year.

On the flip side, other bills submitted at the Governor’s request in the last month of the Legislative session that would have sent a hostile message to immigrants, and burdened Maine employers, also never advanced.

MeBIC  is committed to ensuring that an updated and possibly even more robust version of LD 1492 is introduced in next year’s legislative session.  Investing in immigrants’ ability to succeed is an investment for Maine’s future.