Local businesses discuss how newly passed laws will affect them

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The 129th Legislature ended this year's work in June.

Lawmakers enacted about 600 laws, many of them going into affect on September 20th.

The Maine State Chamber advocacy team put on a half-day program for local businesses looking at pertinent bills and breaking them down for business owners.

Deb Neuman, President of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce says, "They can share with business owners 'Yes, here is what you need to do' or 'You're not complying with the law.' And as business owners we all want to comply with the law."

Topics ranged from workers compensation to the new 'paid time off' law.

There's a trend for environmental laws sweeping the nation and those laws are affecting businesses right here at home.

John Pottle, an attorney for Eaton & Peabody and a presenter at the program says, "A great example is single-use plastic bags. The legislature has now had an act of legislation to essentially ban single-use plastics bags such as the ones you get at the grocery store. That's going to be effective in 2020. That's not just one business here or there, it's really affecting all consumers in Maine."

Neuman says, "It's really tough to keep up with this and many bills related to employment law will carry over into the next session. If you are a business owner or a business leader, it's important to reach out to your legislator. They want to hear from you. It's not all negative. There are a lot of positive things that come out of new laws. It's just a matter of understanding what those implications are, good or bad."

Chamber representatives say, business owners that have questions regarding new laws should reach out to their local Chamber of Commerce for help and clarification.