Sen. Stacy Brenner introduces bill to increase green energy workforce

Posted: April 28, 2021 | Senator Brenner, Taxation

 AUGUSTA – On Tuesday, Sen. Stacy Brenner, D-Scarborough, introduced a bill that would incentivize college graduates to enter the green energy workforce by helping to pay off their student loan debt. The bill, LD 1410, “An Act To Incentivize the Development of the Labor Force in the Green Jobs Sector through Assistance in Repaying Student Loan Debt,” was the subject of a public hearing before the Legislature’s Taxation Committee. 

“This bill is all about rewarding folks based on the work they choose to go into instead of based on their college degree,” said Sen. Brenner, who is the co-owner of Broadturn Farm in Scarborough. “My employees are passionate, love their work and love living in Maine. But since many of them did not receive their college degrees in the STEM field, they are unable to receive a refundable income tax credit through the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit program. This bill would incentivize Mainers to enter the critical STEM and green energy fields no matter what they studied in college. ” 

Currently, the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit only provides a refundable tax credit to people with qualifying associate degrees or bachelor’s degrees in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field, despite the career they decide to enter into. LD 1410 would fill this gap by creating a refundable tax credit for graduates who choose to enter into a green energy or STEM career, no matter the field they received their college degree in. The bill faces further action in committee.