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MEMA 61st Annual Convention — only 4 days away!
MEMA
Join fellow MEMA Members at Ebb + Flow: Navigating the Seas of Change, June 28-30 in Bar Harbor, Maine. Visit the online registration to view a full event schedule, including information on sponsorship, education and hotel reservations. We'll see you in Bar Harbor!
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MEMA's new Maine Energy Facts website and Facebook page
MEMA
Stop what you're doing! Have you visited MEMA's new Maine Energy Facts website and Facebook page? Please take a moment to do so now, and be sure to LIKE us to stay on top of our 2015 campaign!
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HR + Risk Management



Are your property limits accurate?
Federated Insurance
Imagine you get that middle-of-the-night call every business owner dreads: There's smoke coming from the roof at your main location. When you arrive, the entire building is in flames. The fire gets put out shortly after dawn, but it's evident the fire and water damage is extensive. That shiny new equipment is now scrap, the shelves, light fixtures, inventory, carpet, family photos — anything and everything — ruined.
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Can you terminate an employee for drinking on the job after a request for assistance?
Federated Insurance
Question: We have a restaurant/bar. We have a company policy that if you are caught drinking on the job, you can be suspended and/or terminated. We found a bartender in a beer cooler drinking while he was on the clock. He denied and lied about the situation but later admitted this happened. After admitting this happened, he told a manager he needs help and wants to go to a drug rehabilitation program and wanted to know if our company would help to pay for this. Question: Can we still fire this employee for breaking company policy even though after the fact he states he needs personal help and might need to take a leave of absence?
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Legislative Updates



LePage, not quite finished, vetoes 21 more bills
Portland Press Herald
Gov. Paul LePage issued 21 more vetoes late Friday, June 19, including five for bills that he rejected because they had been sponsored by Democrats. The governor has promised to veto all bills that were sponsored by Democrats because he blames the party's lawmakers for blocking a vote on a constitutional amendment that would get rid of the state's income tax.
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Gov. Paul LePage promises a citizen's initiative to lower income tax
Maine Sun Journal
Gov. Paul LePage is still stewing about the Legislature's rejection of his proposed constitutional amendment to kill the income tax. The bill would have put the question out to Maine voters, who LePage says should be given the choice.
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Maine House overrides governor's veto of solar bill
Maine Public Broadcasting
The House has overridden, by a vote of 107 to 40, Gov. Paul LePage's veto of legislation aimed at encouraging community based solar electric power generation projects in the state. The original legislation was far more sweeping than the measure that got bipartisan support in the Legislature's Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.
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EPA defends controversial biofuels program at Senate hearing
Reuters
The U.S. environmental regulator on Thursday, June 18, defended its handling of the nation's controversial renewable fuels program at a congressional hearing, the first since its new biofuels targets last month provoked a furor among corn farmers and oil refiners.
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MEMA Technical Education Center - MTEC



2015 schedule for Code Update Seminars
Maine Fuel Board
As of April 7, the dates, times and locations for the seminars are listed on the following page up to July 10.
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Missed an issue of MEMA Randoms? Click here to visit MEMA Randoms archive page.


5th Annual Summer Meeting Motorcycle Ride
Propane Gas Association of New England
Date: Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25
Times: Wednesday: Meet 8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and Ride 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Thursday: Meet 8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. and Ride 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Holiday Inn By the Bay
Registration: $25 per motorcycle and driver, $20 per passenger
Additional Donations: Any and all additional donations are greatly appreciated

Join fellow PGANE members at the Holiday Inn By the Bay in the heart of the Historic Old Port in Portland, Maine for our 5th Annual Summer Meeting Bike Ride. The Bike Ride will benefit the Fred Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund. All registration proceeds and additional donations will benefit this fund. Please note that this not a PGANE sponsored event.

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 MEMA Special Events

Date Event Location
June 28-30 MEMA 61st Annual Convention Harborside Hotel and Marina
Aug. 31 23rd Annual J. Garrie Murray MEMA Golf Classic Martindale Country Club, Auburn, ME



Industry Headlines



Natural gas production in North America not likely to slow down
PennEnergy
With the North American natural gas market seeing growing supply, increased competition and falling prices, the National Energy Board believes natural gas delivery and exports will remain oversupplied, according to a June 19 press release from the organization.
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Maine Natural Gas looks to increase rates
WMTW-TV
Maine's Public Utility Commission is weighing a proposal from Maine Natural Gas to raise its delivery rates more than 20 percent over three years. The average cost for residential customers would increase about 10 percent in the first year, the utility estimated.
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Battle over new oil train standards pits safety against cost
Maine Public Broadcasting
The federal government's new rules aimed at preventing explosive oil train derailments are sparking a backlash from all sides. The railroads, oil producers and shippers say some of the new safety requirements are unproven and too costly, yet some safety advocates and environmental groups say the regulations aren't strict enough and still leave too many people at risk.
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The shale industry could be swallowed by its own debt
Fuel Fix
The debt that fueled the U.S. shale boom now threatens to be its undoing. Drillers are devoting more revenue than ever to interest payments. In one example, Continental Resources Inc., the company credited with making North Dakota's Bakken Shale one of the biggest oil-producing regions in the world, spent almost as much as Exxon Mobil Corp., a company 20 times its size.
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Convenience Store News



House Republicans strive for less e-cigarette regulation
The Associated Press via Portland Press Herald
House Republicans are pushing to ease proposed government regulations for companies that sell e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products, a move that Democrats charge could lead to unsafe products on the market. A spending bill approved recently by a House subcommittee would prevent the Food and Drug Administration from requiring pre-market reviews of e-cigarettes that already are on the market.
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Maine House overrides LePage's veto of powdered alcohol ban
The Associated Press via Maine Public Broadcasting
A bill that would ban the sale of powered alcohol in the state is one step closer to becoming law. The Maine House of Representatives voted Tuesday, June 16, to override Gov. Paul LePage's veto of the bill. The Senate must follow with two-thirds support for the bill to go into law.
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Move to raise Portland's minimum wage gains momentum
Bangor Daily News
Efforts to enact minimum or "livable" wage ordinances in the city will progress next month and possibly Nov. 3. A bill that would have banned municipalities from setting their own minimum wages failed in the Maine House recently by a 83-60 vote. The bill, requested by Gov. Paul LePage, passed in the state Senate 20-15 on June 18.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Debate over heat pumps: Emera's proposal before PUC faces opposition (MaineBiz)
Senate unanimously passes fix to Efficiency Maine bill (Portland Press Herald)
MEMA's new Maine Energy Facts website and Facebook page
Webinar invitation: Employment tort exposures and the Affordable Care Act (Federated Insurance)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

 



MEMA Randoms
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Christina Nava, Content Editor, 469.420.2612  
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