March 21, 2019
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Maine Senate deals death blow to latest ‘right-to-work’ bill

Erin Rhoda | BDN
Erin Rhoda | BDN
Maine State House, May 8, 2013.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Republicans’ efforts to make Maine a so-called “right-to-work” state failed, again, on Monday with a 21-14 vote against the concept in the Senate.

LD 489 was already on life support following a 90-52 House of Representatives vote against it last week. The bill would have prevented organized labor unions from collecting representation fees as a condition of employment.

Making Maine a right-to-work state has been a priority of Gov. Paul LePage and many Republicans for years. Legislation similar to the bill that was killed Monday was also unsuccessful in 2011, despite Republican majorities in the House and Senate, and 2013. Two years ago, LePage called his inability to pass right-to-work his “biggest failure” since being elected governor.

Another anti-union bill, LD 404, would have prevented the state from deducting dues or representation fees from employees’ paychecks. That bill also died Monday in a 23-12 Senate vote. Two other bills are still pending, though votes against them in the House last week mean they are also likely dead.

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