AUGUSTA — A series of non-emergency laws sponsored and championed by Senator Chip Curry, D-Belfast, that support Maine children, seniors, families and small businesses, took effect Monday, Oct. 18, according to a news release from the Senator’s office.
Highlights include new laws to provide access to lifesaving insulin, invest in competitive workforce training programs, expand access to quality childcare and establish universal school meals for Maine students.
In his first legislative session, Sen. Curry established the Maine Workforce, Research, Development and Student Achievement Institute to advise the Legislature.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work we did this session,” said Sen. Curry. “Between providing Mainers with affordable insulin, investing in workforce development and expanding access to quality childcare for Maine families, we have done so much in less than a year. This is just the beginning, and I’m thrilled to continue to fight for all of us in Waldo County.”
As Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business, Sen. Curry spent much of this session, according to the news release, working to pass new laws that help health care professionals pay down educational debt, promote homeownership by reducing educational debt, create a municipal grant program for sustainable economic development and establish a grant program to help rural businesses recruit qualified staff.
Other laws championed by Sen. Curry this year included a proposal he sponsored to help veterans and their spouses transition easily into Maine’s workforce, whether they are returning home or have chosen to make Maine their home.
With over 100,000 veterans or active-duty service members in Maine, this legislation helps Maine’s workforce and those who have served our country. The new law will allow individuals to obtain a temporary license or certificate in Maine if they had earned a similar one in another state. This allows people to get to work right away, making moving to Maine and getting a job easier.
This year, lawmakers also made good on longstanding commitments to Maine people and municipalities. Lawmakers funded K-12 education at 55 percent for the first time since Maine voters mandated at the ballot box in 2004 and signed off on a plan to fully restore revenue sharing by 2023. Maine lawmakers also voted to send $300 as a “hazard bonus” to eligible Maine workers who worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
All non-emergency laws take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die unless otherwise specified.