Retail Lumber Dealers Association of Maine Announces 2018 Legislative Priorities

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RLDAM’s three priorities include: changing the State’s direct initiative process, standardizing and simplifying substance use policies and testing, and establishing training and youth minimum wage policies.

RLDAM Members meet with Maine's elected officials at the State Capitol on Thursday, March 29, 2018

RLDAM Members meet with Maine's elected officials at the State Capitol on Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Retail Lumber Dealers Association of Maine (RLDAM) announced its 2018 legislative priorities during its annual breakfast at the Maine State House, on Thursday, March 29. RLDAM’s three priorities include: changing the State’s direct initiative process, standardizing and simplifying substance use policies and testing, and establishing training and youth minimum wage policies.

“The legislature exists for the purpose of creating laws, and more importantly, having public hearings to address the concerns and technicalities of proposals; direct initiatives circumvent this process,” stated Rod Wiles, chair of RLDAM’s Legislative Committee. “The unintended consequences of passing marijuana legalization through a ballot initiative in 2016 are now being felt by the legislature and employers across the state.”

Ashley Ranslow, manager of government affairs for the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association, said, “The legalization of marijuana has unintentionally complicated substance use policies and testing for small businesses whose employees work in safety sensitive positions.”

Due to those complications RLDAM supports utilizing the same substance use testing policy for CDL and non-CDL employees, streamlines the current substance use testing policy approval process by the Dept. of Labor, and allows for employees to pay their own expense for treatment.

Ranslow added, “A streamlined substance use testing policy and approval process is a step in the right direction for employers to provide a safer and drug-free environment for all of its employees.”

Finally, the RLDAM strongly supports passage of legislation that enacts a training and youth wage, which would establish a training minimum wage for employees 18-20 years of age for the first 90 days of employment, and youth minimum wage for employees under 18 years of age. As Wiles explained, “This common-sense proposal will ensure RLDAM members get the help they need during their busy times and provides young workers and students the opportunity to receive the training and on-the-job experience they need to have successful careers later in life.”

RLDAM has 103 member companies and represents independent lumber and building material dealers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and other associated businesses in the state of Maine. The lumber and building materials industry employs nearly 23,000 Maine residents, and has an annual payroll of $931 million.

For more information contact Ashley Ranslow, Manager of Government Affairs, at [email protected] or 518-880-6350.

About RLDAM
Founded in 1933, RLDAM is one of fourteen state and local associations across the Northeast associated with the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA). The NRLA was established in New York in 1894 by a small group of pioneering lumbermen who recognized the value of cooperation. Today, the NRLA is an 1,100-member association representing independent lumber and building material suppliers and associated businesses in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.

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Rob Totaro
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