LePage Makes Statement on Independent Contractors

Three years ago, local businesses were reeling under the audits being carried out by the Baldacci administration and Democrats, who were in the majority. The outcry from independent contractors in rural Maine was great, as many faced crippling fines. It was soon apparent that the multiple and, at times, contradictory regulatory definitions of Independent Contractors within bureaucracies was the primary culprit responsible for the devastating confusion. The lack of uniformity in the compliance laws for Independent Contractors left them confused and vulnerable to the punishing fines that were inflicted.
Then local business people and local activists, such as The Maine Conservative Voice, made candidate Paul LePage aware of this travesty against local business during his campaign. He promised to do something about it. He has made good on his promise.
After the election, the newly elected majority of Republicans convened a hearing led by Senator Mike Thibedeau, to address and hear the needs of local business. The Maine Conservative Voice addressed the assembly and strongly urged them to institute one simply definition that applied to all labor bureaucracies. The Republicans listened to the people.
Representative Paul Davis (R-Sangerville) introduced legislation to provide one definition for Independent Contractors. It was soon coupled with a similar bill that had been introduced by Senator Mike Thibedeau. One of the first actions of Governor LePage was to issue an Executive Order halting all audits of Independent Contractors until a clear uniform definition could be established.
The Republican legislature passed a new law concerning Independent Contractors, which has just recently gone into effect. It establishes one simple uniform set of rules that apply to all the labor boards. These requirements can be found at this web address, http://maine.gov/wcb/departments/Coverage/ICFAQ.htm.
At the request of The Maine Conservative Voice, the Governor has released a statement concerning this new law. It was released through John Butera from the Governor’s office as follows: “Our goal was to put into place common sense legislation that minimizes confusion for both employers and workers. Simplicity and clarity in the new employment standard will help both employers and workers understand the implications of their employment choices.”

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