For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Amy Volk has been named to the new Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development, which was created by the merger of the Labor Committee with another panel that focused on business and development issues.
"I'm very pleased to be on a committee that deals with economic development," said Rep. Volk (R-Scarborough), a first-term legislator. "My campaign pledge was to create a better business climate in Maine, and serving on this committee affords me an opportunity to play a key role in improving Maine's economic future.
"We were all concerned when Maine placed 50th in the Forbes magazine's list of the best states for business and careers, but I'm very encouraged that we can make significant progress in this session," she said. "The effort to eliminate redundant and counterproductive red tape and regulation is a positive step toward a more business-friendly environment. I would also like to see some reductions in our tax rates to make Maine more competitive."
The Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee has one of the broadest jurisdictional charters in the Legislature. It oversees the Department of Labor, the Maine State Housing Authority, the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) and the Workers' Compensation Board.
It also has jurisdiction over an extensive range of issues, including workforce development; professional and occupational licensing; venture capital and trade programs; import competition; consumer protection; defense facility conversion; and workers' compensation.
In the realm of labor, its jurisdiction entails wage and hour laws; unemployment compensation; and working conditions, including health and safety; and collective bargaining. Additionally, it handles tourism; technology commercialization and transfers; advertising; and opportunity zones.
"Workers and businesses have a shared stake in Maine's economic future," Rep. Volk said. "The new legislative leadership pulled business and labor into a single committee because they belong together. You can't have labor without business, and you can't run a business without labor. There is a symbiotic relationship, and it just makes sense to have them under one roof."
Rep. Volk is currently a small-business owner. Her husband, Derek, is the vice president of a third-generation family business, Volk Packaging Corporation. Rep. Volk is a graduate of Catherine McAuley High School in Portland and the University of Maine.
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