On Wednesday, the Labor and Housing Committee voted on party lines to recommend passage of legislation (LD 1818) that would set strong labor, environmental and equity standards for port facilities that are critical for the development of offshore wind. The proposal will put Maine in a strong position to secure the permits and federal funding to build these facilities by requiring offshore wind developers to enter into Project Labor Agreements and Labor Peace Agreements. It also requires developers to prioritize the utilization of registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs and hiring a diverse local workforce.
The bill would be a game changer for Maine building trades unions and earlier this month, union apprentices from all over the state testified in support of LD 1818. The legislation will now go to the Senate and House for further votes.