A model of this text was initially printed in The Day by day Temporary, our Maine politics publication. Join right here for each day information and perception from politics editor Michael Shepherd.
Gov. Janet Mills’ veto of a invoice aiming to jumpstart Maine’s offshore wind trade has pushed her and Democratic lawmakers to attempt to negotiate a compromise over thorny labor requirements.
It has gained nationwide consideration partly as a result of the governor’s stance is at odds with President Joe Biden’s normal pledge that unions shall be on the middle of the rising clean-energy sector. If the perimeters don’t make a deal, Maine’s place within the trade may very well be in danger.
The context: Mills, a Democrat, has been making an attempt to place the state for achievement within the nascent offshore wind sector going again to 2020, when she unveiled plans to begin the nation’s first analysis platform. There was rapid pushback from the fishing trade, which led her to bar initiatives in state waters and factored into her 2022 marketing campaign towards former Gov. Paul LePage.
Beneath Biden, the federal authorities has ramped up its offshore wind efforts, which embody a doable array within the Gulf of Maine. Lawmakers have been working this 12 months on laws that may clear the event of ports and initiatives and purchase an enormous quantity of energy.
That’s the place the rub is between Mills and main lawmakers. Democrats commandeered a port growth invoice backed by the governor so as to add language requiring venture labor agreements, a sort of collective bargaining deal between unions and building firms. That led to a veto menace from the governor, which she made good on final week.
Pathway to a deal: In her preliminary letter to key lawmakers, Mills stated she would veto the invoice if they didn’t take away the labor language, saying it will create “a chilling impact” for Maine contractors who don’t use union employees and will result in out-of-state employees dominating the sector.
Legislative Democrats, together with Sen. Chip Curry, D-Belfast, who sponsored the ports measure, challenged Mills in a letter, noting that any contractor can enter such an settlement and floating an modification that may guarantee Maine employees have precedence within the eventual agreements that govern port building.
However that didn’t appear to be it will remedy issues by itself. Lobbyist Tim Walton, who represents Maine building large Cianbro, famous the advised language says firms must “make a demonstrated and measurable effort” to rent Maine employees as a part of a hierarchy, one thing he argued might not have enamel in apply.
What’s subsequent: Each Curry and Mills stated Friday that negotiations had been nonetheless taking place over the measure. There may be incentive to achieve a deal, with the senator saying holding it again for a 12 months could be “very problematic” for Maine’s place. However they gave no particulars on the talks.
“There are concepts, however I don’t wish to get into particulars proper now as a result of it’s an ongoing dialog and discussions forwards and backwards,” he stated.
Need the most recent political information? Subscribers of Pocket Politics get breaking information and evaluation on their telephones earlier than the tales go anyplace else. Textual content POLITICS to 207-288-7412 to get in. First two weeks are free, $3.99/month after that. Cancel any time. All hyperlinks to the location are free.