Posted: April 11, 2014 | Front Page, Senator Gerzofsky, Senator Jackson, Senator Patrick

AUGUSTA—In a 22-13 vote, the Senate defeated Governor LePage’s proposal to make Maine a so-called right to work state.

“This is politically motivated corporate welfare,” said Democratic Senator John Patrick of Rumford, the Senate Chair of the Labor Committee. “Maine families are struggling to make ends meet, and the only thing Governor LePage has to offer is a half-baked idea rejected multiple times by lawmakers–including those in his own party.”

Research has found that both union and nonunion workers earn $1,500 less per year in so-called right-to-work states than in states that allow unions. Additionally, researchers have found that employees are less likely to receive healthcare and pension benefits through their jobs in right to work states.

“Whenever a new company comes to Brunswick Landing I ask them what brought them here,” said Democratic Senator Stan Gerzofsky of Brunswick. “They tell me it’s because on the property we have a community college to train the workforce of the very companies we are trying to attract. The businesses we want to bring to Maine want a skilled, educated workforce. That’s what we should be providing.”

Under Governor LePage’s watch, Maine is the third worst state for job growth; as other New England states have recovered all of the jobs they lost during the recession, Maine has recovered only one-third.

“This is just another political stunt by Governor LePage to distract from his poor job creation record,” said Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash. “If Governor LePage were really interested in creating jobs, he’d be working with the Legislature instead of issuing these my-way-or-the-highway ultimatums.”

The bill, LD 1835 “An Act To Improve Maine’s Ability To Attract Major Private Investments,” will now be sent to the House for a vote.