Senate President Troy Jackson and a coalition of small Maine business owners yesterday announced LD 1411, "An Act To Establish the Maine Buy American and Build Maine Act." The bill would give preference to Maine-based businesses, workers, and American manufacturing when the state awards procurement contracts, supporting Maine workers, Maine-based businesses, and quality, good-paying Maine jobs whenever taxpayer dollars are spent.
“Buy American, Build Maine is about lifting up the workers, businesses and quality, manufactured products in our own backyard,” said President Jackson. “Throughout this pandemic, Maine workers, businesses and manufacturers have stepped up to serve and support our communities. We owe it to them to have their backs.”
Several states have already adopted legislation that either gives preference to companies based in that state for public contracts or gives preference to American manufactured goods. According to the National Association of State Procurement Officials, at least 38 states already provide some sort of preference to in-state businesses. With this legislation, Maine would be giving Maine and workers the same leg up that many other states are giving their businesses and workers.
“Buy American, Build Maine” legislation is supported by Kathie Leonard, Auburn Manufacturing, Inc.; Ben Waxman, American Roots; Chris Lausier, C. Lausier Family, Inc.; Dan Kleban, Maine Beer Company; Devin McNeill, Flowfold; Brian Lombardozzi, Alliance for American Manufacturing; Tim Kuebler, Dragon Cement; Maine AFL-CIO; Machinists’ Union Local S-89; and Ironworkers Local 7.
“For most Maine business owners, our state isn’t just a place to do business, it’s where we’ve chosen to live, work and put down roots. Our customers are our friends and neighbors. We care about our environment and the future of our state because it’s what’s happening in our own backyard,” said Dan Kleban of Maine Beer Company. "By passing Buy American, Build Maine legislation, Maine lawmakers can support Maine workers and businesses.”
Mainers For Working Families is proud to support “Buy American, Build Maine” legislation and applauds Senator Jackson for introducing this critical measure. Maine workers and entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy, and we should be seeking out the wealth of experience in our own communities to support ourselves before looking farther afield.
LD 1411 will undergo additional work sessions in committee before moving to the floor of the House and Senate for votes.