Mainers are resilient. Along with the rest of the country, however, too many Mainers continue to struggle in this tough economy. Senator Collins believes that putting people back to work is the key to improving our economic recovery and should remain our number one goal. With this goal in mind, Senator Collins has offered or supported legislation aimed at providing tax relief, cutting red tape, and investing in a 21st century workforce.

Protecting Workers and Small Businesses from Misguided Federal Regulations

Federal regulations can impose unexpected and costly requirements on small businesses, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations.  A prime example is a new U.S. Department of Labor rule on overtime pay that could harm the very workers it intends to help, cause small businesses to curb hiring, and force universities and colleges to either raise tuition or cut programs.

The new rule, scheduled to take effect this December, will double the current annual salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 for mandatory overtime.

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Collins, King Announce More Than $380,000 in USDA Grants to Support Maine Wood Products Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will award a total of $380,170 in federal funding to the Maine Forest Service in support of Maine’s forest products industry. The Maine Forest Service will receive two Wood Innovation Grants through the USDA: $130,170 to establish a Maine State Wood Energy Assistance Team, and $250,000 for a program titled, “Strengthening and Expanding Maine Wood Markets.”

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Collins, King Congratulate Maine International Trade Center for National Recognition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today congratulated the Maine International Trade Center (MITC) on being honored with the prestigious “E” Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce.  The “E” Award is the highest honor that a U.S. organization, institution, or company can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of America’s exports.  MITC was recognized for its role in supporting Maine companies as they work to export their goods and services overseas.

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Collins, King and Poliquin Send Letter in Support of Trade Adjustment Assistance for Madison Paper Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representative Bruce Poliquin sent a letter to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez in support for the recently filed Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) petition to assist the more than 200 workers at Madison Paper Industries who are being displaced in large measure to increased foreign competition.

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Collins, King Statement on Closure of Madison Mill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King released the following statement today in response to the announcement that Madison Paper Industries mill in Madison will close by the end of May:

“This is devastating news for Madison’s dedicated employees and their families as well as for the Town of Madison and the entire state of Maine. We stand ready to assist any and all affected workers in whatever ways we can,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement.

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Maine Delegation Signs Letter to FDA Backing Real Maple Syrup

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, and Congressmen Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin joined a group of 27 other members of Congress on a letter urging U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf to exercise his legal authority to investigate and take action against products that falsely claim to contain maple syrup.

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TODAY-Senator Collins to Attend Fishermen’s Forum

U.S. Senator Susan Collins will attend the 41st Annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum today at the Samoset Resort.  The three-day event is expected to draw approximately 3,000 people, including fisherman, scientists, managers, and NOAA officials.

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Senator Collins Participates in “A Conversation at the Dyke Center” at Husson University

U.S. Senator Susan Collins participated in a forum regarding small businesses, aging, and retirement security, among other topics at Husson University.  The forum, part of the popular series, “A Conversation at the Dyke Center,” was hosted by the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business.  Senator Collins was the founding executive director of the Center.  Dr. Nancy Forster-Holt, the current Director, was Senator Collins’ conversation partner.

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MEDIA ADVISORY TODAY- Senator Collins to Participate in “A Conversation at the Dyke Center” at Husson University in Bangor

U.S. Senator Susan Collins will participate in a forum regarding small businesses, aging, and retirement security, among other topics tomorrow at Husson University.  The forum will be hosted by the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business and is part of the popular series, “A Conversation at the Dyke Center.”  Dr. Nancy Forster-Holt, the Director of the Dyke Center, will be Senator Collins’ conversation partner.

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Senator Collins’ Honors her Congressional Intern, Lee Jackson, for Receiving McDonald's Crew Person of the Year Award

BANGOR, ME – U.S. Senator Susan Collins surprised her congressional intern and honoree, Lee Jackson, this afternoon at the McDonald’s Crew Person of the Year Recognition event in Bangor to congratulate him on receiving this impressive award.  Lee was one of only 25 McDonald’s employees nationwide to receive the McDonald’s Crew Person of the Year Award. Lee has served as an intern in Senator Collins’ Bangor Constituent Service Center since October 2015 and was a part of Senator Collins’ successful 2014 campaign. 

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Regulatory Reform: Unleashing Our Nation’s Job Creators

When I ask employers in Maine what Washington needs to do to help them add jobs, they tell me this: reduce the cost and complexity of the federal regulations imposed on them.  And this is not just a concern voiced by Maine businesses.  Earlier this year, a poll of small business owners across the country found that the vast majority aren’t hiring new workers right now, and more than six in ten pointed to government regulations as the reason why. 
 

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Collins, Murray Introduce Bill Cosponsored by King to Preserve Critical Savings Option During Tax Season

Washington, D.C. – As Americans prepare for tax season, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Chairman of the Aging Committee, and Patty Murray (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today introduced the Save Access to a Valuable Investment Needed to Generate Savings (SAVINGS) Act of 2016. Original co-sponsors of the bill include Senators Angus King (I-ME), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

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Collins, King, Pingree, and Poliquin Write to USDA Urging Purchase of Maine Wild Blueberries

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on behalf of the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine requesting a bonus buy of Maine wild blueberries. Bonus buys help protect American farmers from unexpected market conditions by purchasing surplus goods and distributing them to food banks and other charitable institutions.
      

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Collins Successfully Secures Protection for Prescription Paper Inserts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The fiscal year 2016 omnibus that was recently signed into law includes a provision authored by Senator Susan Collins that would block the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed E-labeling rule for prescribing information, which would be acutely felt by rural Americans in Maine and across our country.  This provision will protect paper inserts that are important tools for our pharmacists and health care professionals in charge of administering life-saving medications to our hardworking families and seniors.

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Collins Successfully Secures Permanent Tax Relief For American School Teachers

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The tax-relief package recently signed into law includes an important provision authored by U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, that makes the $250 teacher tax credit permanent. This provisionwill provide important tax relief to help cover the out-of-pocket expenses our nation’s teachers incur to improve the education of our children. Senator Collins authored the law that first created the $250 teacher tax deduction in 2002.  

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A Year in Review

As we turn the page on 2015 and look to the future, I welcome this opportunity to share some of the accomplishments of the past year.  Although much work remains to be done, I was able to achieve progress on issues that matter to the people of Maine, whom I am honored to represent in the United States Senate.

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Senator Susan Collins Secures Major Provisions for Maine in Omnibus Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator and Senior Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Susan Collins, successfully secured major provisions for Maine in the FY2016 Omnibus Bill, which will fund the government through next September. The legislation passed the Senate (65-33) this afternoon, following the House vote of (316-113) earlier today. The legislation was signed into law by the President this evening.
 

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