Rep. Blodgett successfully advocates for bill to help businesses hire unemployed
June 6, 2011
AUGUSTA – State Rep. Anna Blodgett, D-Augusta, fought successfully in the House to pass her bill to help small businesses offer jobs to Maine’s long term unemployed. The bill was supported in the House on Monday by a vote of 87 to 57.
"This bill is a jobs bill that will help unemployed Mainers and Maine businesses,” said Blodgett on the floor of the House. “We were sent here by our constituents to create jobs and we should do it.”
The bill will permit an employer who hires a person who has been collecting unemployment benefits from Maine for six months or more to receive reimbursement for the amount of state income tax withheld for that employee for the first six months of employment. The State is allowed to recapture the credit if the employer terminates the qualified employee prior to the one‑year anniversary of the date of hire. The law is automatically repealed on December 31, 2014.
The Maine Restaurant Association and several business owners have expressed their support of the bill in the committee. There was no testimony in opposition to the bill in the committee.
“This bill is affordable, it creates jobs, and it puts people back to work,” said Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, during the debate in the House. “Once someone becomes unemployed, especially in this economy, it becomes very hard for them to find a job. This credit helps employers who are ready to create new jobs and helps those most in need of getting back to work.”
All the House Democrats who were present voted in favor of the measure. Eighteen Republicans and the one unenrolled legislator in the House also supported it while 57 Republicans voted against it.
The bill faces more votes in the House and Senate before becoming law.
Jodi Quintero [Blodgett], 287-1488, c. 841-6279