MMTA Legislative Bill Tracking Update (3/16/23)

Updated March 16, 2023

Legislative activity has been heating up with Committee work in full swing.  Below are bills/issues that we would like to highlight for our members – a full list (updated periodically) of the bills MMTA is tracking can be found at

One item not on this list because it is still taking shape is an effort to have Maine adopt a Paid Family and Medical Leave program.  MMTA is involved in a trade association coalition that will be engaged on this very important issue and you should expect to hear more about it in the coming weeks.

Snow and Ice Removal

LD 522, An Act to Require That Motor Vehicles Be Clear of Snow When Operated on Public Ways

The issue of removing snow and ice on vehicles, including commercial vehicles, has been debated multiple times in the legislature in Maine and across the country.  Many other northern states have passed snow and ice legislation in the recent past, which includes commercial vehicles.  MMTA has always been successful in defeating bills like this in Maine, because of the dangers of requiring drivers to attempt to clear commercial vehicles without proper safety equipment when not at a terminal or location where it can be done safely.  Despite a strong desire to pass something in this session to deal with the snow and ice, MMTA was able to carve out commercial vehicles with a registration weight of 10,000 pounds or more.  The resulting bill will require drivers of non-commercial vehicles to use due care to clear vehicles of snow and ice, or face fines of $50 for first violations if snow or ice coming off vehicles causing property damage or injury.

For a Copy of MMTA’s Testimony – Click Here.

Allowing 18-20 year old’s to haul HAZMAT

LD 534, An Act to Allow Commercial Driver’s License Holders Who Are 18 to 20 Years of Age to Haul Hazardous Materials Intrastate

The bill sponsor, Rep. James White, is a former professional truck driver that hauled hazardous materials for his entire career.  The bill is an attempt to attract and retain younger drivers in response to the workforce shortage the industry is experiencing in the hazmat industry.  The Maine State Police will be opposing, expressing safety and loss of federal funding concerns should the bill pass.  MMTA is aware that we have members on both sides of this bill, and will be testifying neither for nor against, and will work to help educate and inform the Transportation Committee on the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program as well as the efforts of MMTA and our members on workforce development.

For a Copy of MMTA’s Testimony – Click Here.

CDL License Reinstatement

LD 652, An Act to Allow the Reinstatement of Certain Commercial Driver’s Licenses

This bill would allow drivers who have received a lifetime suspension of their CDL due to two convictions of Table 1 violations in 49 CFR Part 383.51.  The violations in this table are considered “major violations” and include refusing to submit to a drug and alcohol test while operating a CMV, being under the influence of controlled substances while operating a CMV and other major violations.  While the federal regulations allow states to have a process where a lifetime suspension can be appealed to the State after 10 years, Maine has never had such a process.  MMTA testified in support of the bill, with a proper process in place to allow for a hearing.  The bill would give hope to drivers who have been properly rehabilitated after 10 or more years and would also aid in workforce issues.  The bill received unanimous support, including from the Secretary of State.

For a Copy of MMTA’s Testimony – Click Here.

Eroding the exclusive remedy of Workers’ Compensation

LD 53 An Act to Ensure Accountability for Workplace Harassment and Assault by Removing Intentional Acts and Omissions from Workers’ Compensation Exemptions

In response to workplace harassment concerns from the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lee’s intent is to narrowly focus on the impacts of workplace harassment where the exclusive remedy of workers’ compensation preempts additional relief from resulting emotional distress injuries.  However, the result of passing the bill would be to encourage litigation and increase friction in the Maine workers’ compensation system, which are both contrary to the grand bargain compromise of WC being the exclusive remedy for workplace injuries.

For a Copy of MMTA’s Testimony – Click Here.

Incentives for Medium & Heavy Duty Vehicle ZEV’s

LD 122 An Act to Authorize the Efficiency Maine Trust to Establish a Program to Support the Uptake of Medium-duty and Heavy-duty Zero-emission Vehicles by Maine Businesses and to Establish a Medium-duty and Heavy-duty Zero-emission Vehicle-to-grid Pilot Project

Not something MMTA would normally support, one of our industry’s main concerns with Maine pushing to adopt Zero Emission Vehicle technology so quickly is the cost of such investments.  The bill’s sponsor, through support from Efficiency Maine, is addressing this concern by recommending financial incentives for Medium & Heavy Duty Vehicles that are ineligible now.

For a Copy of MMTA’s Testimony – Click Here.

Prohibition on Employee Retention Investment Agreements

LD 741 An Act to Prohibit Training Repayment Agreements by Employers

Many MMTA members will agree to pay for additional training – whether that is for a prospective or current employee – to get an additional credential or to upgrade their skills.  In return, employers seek to protect that investment by requiring the individual to stay employed with them for a period of time.  This bill would prohibit such an arrangement which will discourage employers from making such investments if the employee can then use the additional training to get a job somewhere else.

For a Copy of MMTA’s Testimony – Click Here.

Concept Draft Abuse

Various bills and titles

If you look at the MMTA Bill Tracking List, you will see 18 “Concept Drafts” that look like they want to do things like “strengthen Maine’s workforce,” “amend Maine’s tax laws,” and “support Maine industry.”  While all noble goals, the devil is in the details and a “concept draft” does not include anything other than the bill’s title.  This makes it hard to know if MMTA needs to be involved in the bill or engage our members on an issue of importance, most times until the public hearing.  So we have listed “Concept Drafts” in a separate category on the MMTA Bill Tracking site because your guess is as good as ours as to what these bills purport to accomplish… which is not a very transparent way to govern in our opinion.