Confusion in Maine’s legislature leads to struggles for businesses

Confusion in Maine’s legislature leads to struggles for businesses

August 31, 2009 Posted by Maine Heritage Policy Center - 5 Comments

Two of the more bizarre stories in some time involve bills that came out of the legislature this past term and are doing damage to small business and local students.

The first law, L.D. 498, included an amendment by Rep. David Webster (D) of Freeport that bans any children from even observing adults participating in wine-tasting. This obviously (not so obviously to the representative) causes problems for tot toting tourists who would like to sample the wine produced by local Maine wineries.

There is much confusion about what to do about this bizarre and unecessary law, but for now, some small bussiness in Maine will be forced to board up windows to make sure no passing children can see wine tasting in progress and post signs banning families with children from entering the business.

Along the same lines of confusion comes another gem of a story out the 124th Maine Legislature. In an attempt to keep the medical records of youth’s out of the hands of marketing companies, some short-sighted legislation has caused big problems.

As of now, the bill bans colleges from recruiting Maine’s students with good test scores. It would also require that media stop talking with young people and reporting what they said.
This law goes into effect in just a few short days on September 12th, and eventually the problem should be ironed out with a lengthy and expensive court process.

These examples show why transparency is so vital. When citizens and interested parties know about and can see what particular legislation will do before it is passed, many of the issues could be taken care of before they become a problem.