Maine State Senator David Miramant
Maine State Senator David Miramant
No matter the circumstances, one thing will always be true: Maine depends on small businesses, and small businesses depend on Maine. With close to 99% of Maine businesses categorized as small, small businesses are central to our economy and our success. We should do everything we can to ensure their survival. Yet, we’ve seen more and more manufacturing jobs go overseas, and more and more contracts go out of state. For those reasons, I want to talk with you about LD 1411. This bill, “An Act To Establish the Maine Buy American and Build Maine Act,” puts emphasis on Maine businesses and gives preference to the hardworking people here in Maine.

The bill has two focal points. The first requires Maine to buy most of its manufactured goods from American companies. This includes products such as cement, steel, textiles and so on. The second prioritizes Maine-based businesses when awarding government contracts. These contracts vary from web page servicing to mask production to chemical testing. Overall, this bill prioritizes Maine-based businesses, workers and American manufacturing when the state awards procurement contracts. This is something we’ve always known is a good idea, and now we are trying to establish a system to do it.

This measure guarantees that taxpayer dollars are used to help workers here in our state. This puts Maine businesses in the best position possible when bidding for public projects across all levels. If two companies submit similar bids for projects, it will go to the Maine company. Additionally, if a Maine-based company is outbid by an out-of-state company, the Maine company will have the opportunity to match the bid and get the contract.

Maine would join 38 other states with similar laws in place. This levels the playing field for Maine businesses and Maine workers. Small businesses support our communities, and now it’s our turn to support them. If our state is going to spend dollars from hard-working taxpayers on goods and services, why not make sure they’re Maine-made? I always want to maximize taxpayer investments and put everything back into the community.

This bill will bolster local economies and grow our “Made in Maine” brand. Here in Knox County, we know the benefit of having good, high-quality family-run businesses — many of which have had a hard year. I hope this provides a sense of relief to our local business owners and encourages them to continue growing this summer. This is an opportunity for us to give Maine companies a head start going forward and to really support and strengthen the middle class. When given the option between a local, small, family-oriented business or a big corporation, the choice is simple. I couldn’t bear the thought of putting businesses that employ our neighbors, invest in our schools, and support our community organizations at odds against a company with lower labor standards overseas. I will always be for Maine businesses and Maine labor.

I’m glad to be supporting this bill that puts the power back in the hands of hard-working Mainers and the middle class. I support this bill and I hope you do too.

If you have any other ideas, thoughts, or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Feel free to call my office at 287-1515 or send me an email at david.miramant@legislature.maine.gov.