Governor Calls on Congress to Reject Legislation that puts 600 Northern Maine Jobs at Risk

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For Immediate Release: Monday, June 3

Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

Governor Calls on Congress to Reject Legislation that puts 600 Northern Maine Jobs at Risk  

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today called on the leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives to drop provisions in a pending piece of legislation that would negatively impact northern Maine’s economy by putting 600 good-paying Maine jobs at risk.

The legislation, H.R. 1919, includes a provision, in Section 8, that would mandate electronic labeling for pharmaceutical drugs, meaning that information on dosage, side effects or other critical information would available only on-line and would not be provided on paper with the drugs themselves.

Twin Rivers Paper Mill is the leading producer of uncoated printing papers used as pharmaceutical inserts in North America – a product the legislation would eliminate by moving all information to the internet. The mill, located in Madawaska, employs 1,200 people in Saint John valley, including 600 workers in Maine.

“Twin Rivers is an economic driver in the region, spending more than $350 million every year on supplies, raw materials and on salaries for the people who work there,” said Governor Paul LePage. “In addition, the mill supports thousands of additional jobs in northern Maine that are indirectly associated with the facility, plus it pays more than $2.7 million in property taxes annually to the Town of Madawaska.

“I urge Congress to reject this bill, not just because of the impact on Maine jobs, but because this bill is irresponsible. Senior citizens are the largest users of pharmaceutical medications and they are also the least likely to have easy access to information on the internet.”

The House bill is schedule for a vote on Monday evening, while the Senate legislation is still pending and does not include the Section 8 language.

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