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Maine legislators reconvene special session Thursday

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 6:52 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - The Maine House of Representatives and Senate will return to the Statehouse Thursday, beyond the originally planned Wednesday special session adjournment.

Senate President Troy Jackson adjourned the Senate around 10 p.m. and said the body would reconvene at 10 a.m. Thursday.

According to a spokesperson for House Republicans, representatives were expected to work until midnight and return Thursday morning.

Each chamber spent time Wednesday night debating agriculture bills.

Republicans took a strong stance in opposition to a pair of bills which, they said, would create undue burden on Maine farmers.

A bill that failed in the House, LD 1022, would have placed limits on mandatory overtime for migrant farmworkers.

A separate bill, LD151, passed the House and Senate.

If it becomes law, it would allow farmworkers to unionize.

Opponents said both pieces of legislation would negatively impact small farmers already struggling.

“Their work and their farms are not factories or corporate offices and this policy is destructive to their work existence,” said Rep. Heidi Sampson, a Republican representing House District 21.

“Challenging one’s work conditions in that environment is fraught with personal and economic danger. If you lose your job you lose your home,” said Rep. Thomas Harnett, a Democrat Representing House District 83.

The Senate is expected to reconvene Thursday around 10 a.m.

The House is also expected to reconvene Thursday morning.

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