Advocacy News You Can Use

February 21, 2024

Dear Chamber Members:

The PBRCC Advocacy Committee would like to send out the below updates on items that may be of value to you and your businesses.

The mission of this committee is to track current and proposed public policy at the local, state, and federal levels. Plan for timely communication and education for members on topics of importance related to current and proposed public policy. Also, to recommend advocacy positions to the full Board as determined to be beneficial to the organization’s membership body.

The current committee members are:

Greg Soutiea, Craignair Inn by the Sea/The Causeway Restaurant – Chair, Advocacy Committee

Chris Austin, Ardiah Financial Services – Member, Advocacy Committee

Ashley Benson, The Limerock Inn – Member, Advocacy Committee

David Gogel, Rockland Main Street – Member, Advocacy Committee

Diane Lebson, Evergreen Philanthropic Solutions – Member, Advocacy Committee

Tyson Thornton, Pen Bay Medical Center – Member, Advocacy Committee


You are probably already aware of the new Maine Paid Family Medical Leave law that will go into effect on 1/1/25, but do you know your requirements and how to best prepare your business for that upcoming change? The Maine DOL is hosting four listening sessions (and those already hosted) which will work to inform and update employers on their responsibility.

On January 25th, Governor Mills announced her nomination for the new Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Authority. More information can be read here.

There are additional amendments being proposed in the current legislation, which is still going through the rulemaking process that the committee will be keeping an eye on for changes to the law.


PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances / “forever chemicals”) are a large, complex group of synthetic chemicals that have been used in consumer products around the world since about the 1950s. in 2021, the Maine Legislature passed a law that would eventually ban those chemicals by requiring every business in Maine to report the presence of intentionally added PFAS in any product it makes or sells. It currently bans the use of intentionally added PFAS by 2030.


To give an idea of how widespread these chemicals are, PFAS exist in cars and cellphones, prescription medicines, heart stents, and medical and veterinary diagnostic tests. They are in solar panels, heat pumps, electric vehicles, and many other products.


The business community generally supports amending the law to address PFAS in products that have the most direct contact with human health, recognizing that a blanket ban on PFAS is not practical or readily achievable. We are hoping this session the law will be amended to:

  • Repeal the reporting notification provision in the current law that would effectively ban several Maine products in 2025.
  • Add exemptions in statutes that are already regulated under federal law.
  • Add prohibitions on certain products for which PFAS will be banned if they contain PFAS, as has occurred in other states.
  • Extend the ban from 2030 to 2032 to provide companies more time to find alternatives to PFAS with which to produce their products.


Maine’s PFAS law is the subject of the latest episode of “The Bottom Line” podcast. Special guest Chris Kilgour, founder, and CEO of C&L Aviation, joins co-hosts Patrick Woodcock and John Williams for a conversation about Kilgour’s Bangor-based business, the serious challenges Maine’s current PFAS law presents, and why modifications to the law are critical for Maine’s economy and business community. Click here to listen!


We are watching this legislation closely and will continue to keep you updated.


Other helpful resources:

Upcoming dates of potential interest:

  • Information on all upcoming Public Hearings and Work Sessions can be found here by the committee with a bill summary.




If you have any questions for the Advocacy Committee, please refer those to Matthew Roderick in the Chamber Office at

Header Photo: Carol Miller Photography


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Rockland, Maine 04841


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Camden, Maine 04843


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Copyright 2023. Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce All rights reserved.

Copyright 2023. Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce All rights reserved.