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February 5, 2018
Politics & Co.

Lawmakers tackle human resources issues in short session in Augusta

The state legislative session has just a little more than two months to go — it concludes April 18 — but there are still some meaty topics winding their way through the pipeline.

A bill that would create a paid family medical leave program will be the topic of a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 6, before the Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development.

LD 1587 creates a paid family medical leave program that's patterned after the state's existing unpaid family medical leave program, but requires a contribution from the employee. A portion of an eligible employee's paycheck would be taken out every pay period to fund the leave.

The program is voluntary for employees. Like the current law, which allows up to 10 weeks of unpaid leave, it would also be optional for businesses employing 15 people or fewer.

It's sponsored by Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, and Sen. Amy Volk, R-Cumberland. The hearing will be at 10 a.m. in Room 208 of the Cross Building and is scheduled to last two hours.

Also on Feb. 6, the Judiciary Committee will hold a work session on a bill that amends the law governing profiteering in prescription drugs. The bill, LD 1406, would require more disclosure of drug production, research and development, marketing and advertising costs, as well as actual costs paid upon purchase.

It also allows the attorney general's office to investigate alleged violations and requires the attorney general to report yearly on violations.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Sagadahoc.

Testimony from Attorney General Janet Mills, a number of health care and pharmaceutical representatives, AARP and others will be considered during the work session. It's scheduled for 1 p.m. in Room 438 of the State House, and expected to take four hours.

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