Associated Press (04/18/12)
Maine Gov. Paul LePage says the trio of bills he signed into law on April 18 aim to boost the state’s business environment and create more jobs. One bill simplifies the workers’ compensation law, alters eligibility requirements, and imposes a 10-year cap on benefits, except for severely injured workers, while another changes eligibility requirements for unemployment compensation and imposes criminal penalties for unemployment fraud. The remaining bill standardizes and clarifies the definition of independent contractor for workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance purposes and imposes penalties for misclassifying workers. The bills are “common-sense” and “business-friendly reforms,” according to Cathy DeMerchant, president and co-owner of Capital Area Staffing Solutions Inc.