AUGUSTA – Legislation aimed at keeping Maine’s tax dollars at work in the state is being discussed again.
The Maine Buy American and Build Maine Act was introduced during the LePage administration by then-Senate Minority Leader Troy Jackson, only to be vetoed by the former governor.
On Monday, the Allagash Democrat — who is now Senate president — reintroduced the proposal.
The bill would require contracts for construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair or improvement be completed with products made in the United States.
It also recommends that Maine companies, with more than 60 percent of its workforce residing in Maine, be given preference in bidding when two or more similar bids are received.
“In a lot of states, I think 26 states do some type of preference for in-state contractors … Maine isn’t. I think we’re falling behind. I think we need to make sure what limited tax resources and contracts we have are going to Maine contractors when appropriate,” said Jackson, D-Allagash.
Jackson referred to the production of Maine state inspection stickers for vehicles as an example of tax dollars going out of state when there was an in-state company capable of doing the job.