AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate unanimously enacted the Buy American, Build Maine Act legislation from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, on Friday morning, sending the measure to the governor’s desk for approval. 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.
“For too long, state procurement contracts have been awarded to workers and businesses out-of-state when a Mainer could have done the job for the same if not lower price. It makes no sense to send taxpayer dollars out-of-state when we could invest it in hardworking Maine people and vibrant communities. The Buy American, Build Maine Act is about lifting up the workers, businesses and manufactured goods in our own backyard and building the Made-in-Maine brand,” said President Jackson. “With Independence Day this weekend, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the founding of this country than to make the Buy American, Build Maine Act law. I’m hopeful the governor will sign it.”
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 an Executive Order 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 governor for her signature. The governor has 10 days to sign the bill, veto it or allow it to become law without her signature.