AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate passed Buy American, Build Maine legislation from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, in a vote of 21-13 on Thursday. LD 1411, “An Act To Establish the Maine Buy American and Build Maine Act” would give preference to Maine-based businesses, workers and American manufacturing when the state awards procurement contracts.
“Maine small businesses and the hardworking people who keep them running don’t just drive our economy, they really are a part of our communities. Small business owners sponsor our little league teams, help out with band fundraisers and donate to our community food banks. They are our family members, neighbors and friends,” said President Jackson. “Buy American, Build Maine is about lifting up these workers, businesses and quality-manufactured products in our own backyard. Throughout this pandemic, Maine workers, businesses and manufacturers have stepped up to serve and support our communities in the toughest of circumstances. We owe it to them to have their backs.”
A number of different states across the country have already adopted legislation that either gives preference to companies based in that state for public contracts or gives preference to American manufactured goods. According to the National Association of State Procurement Officials, at least 38 states give some preference on procurement contracts to in-state businesses. With this legislation, Maine would be giving Maine businesses and workers the same leg up that many other states are giving their businesses and workers.
Buy American policies have been in place at the federal level dating back to 1933. In January, President Biden signed anExecutive Order in strengthening “Buy American” policies across the federal government. Earlier this month, the Biden Administration unveiled the “American Jobs Plan” which makes it clear that the federal government is heading in a new direction — one that recognizes the quality and value of American workers and goods.
Buy American, Build Maine Legislation is supported by Kathie Leonard, Auburn Manufacturing, Inc.; Ben Waxman, American Roots; Chris Lausier, C. Lausier Family, Inc.; Dan Kleban, Maine Beer Company; Devin McNeill, Flowfold; Brian Lombardozzi, Alliance for American Manufacturing; Tim Kuebler, Dragon Cement; Maine AFL-CIO; Machinists’ Union Local S-89; Ironworkers Local 7.
LD 1411 will now go to the House of Representatives for a vote.