Maine’s Business Climate Takes Another Blow

Maine’s Business Climate Takes Another Blow

June 28, 2007 Posted by J. Scott Moody - No Comments

There are many, many factors to consider when one talks about the “business climate” such as taxes, labor laws, environmental laws, etc. A new study titled “Risky Business” published by the American Justice Partnership has quantified another important part of a state’s business climate–the liability climate.
The article defines this problem as “. . . threats to capital formation and, at times, the sustainability of many businesses, most companies fail to accurately account for the total costs of lawsuits and underestimate the importance of a state’s liability climate when they make employment, plant location, and operating decisions. In today’s unpredictable legal environment, the accounted costs of litigation–legal fees, settlements, judgments, and G&A–are just a starting point. The unaccounted costs are often far higher and far more dangerous: share value loss, damage to company and product reputation, higher litigation reserves, higher insurance costs, and poorer litigation results.”
The study ranks the fifty states on a “green, yellow, red” basis.” Green states are pro-growth and job creation, yellow states are neutral and red states discourage growth. Of all the New England states, only New Hampshire gets a green light and is ranked 17th best in the nation. Maine is a yellow state, though barely, coming in near dead last of all yellow states ranking 26th best.
This is what the article says about Maine: “. . . The Supreme Court majority and Attorney General Steven Rowe are viewed as activists. The Maine Legislature has not enacted any significant liability reform legislation. The state’s liability climate is, at best, neutral to growth and job creation. Maine may well become a “red light” state in the next ranking.” Yet another blow to our business climate . . .