- Associated Press - Monday, February 19, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Lawmakers are set to consider a lawmaker’s idea to offer tax credits for logging and trucking businesses that hire U.S. residents.

The concept bill could receive a Tuesday committee vote. It’s sponsored by Democratic Senate Leader Troy Jackson, a fifth-generation logger whose family still works in Maine’s forests.

Jackson’s bill was still in concept form at a January hearing. Professional Logging Contractors of Maine declined to take a position until it saw actual details.

The trade group said in the last four years, Maine has seen the closure of five pulp and paper mills and the periodic idling of two wood energy electric facilities.

The association said that means Maine has lost 50 percent of its softwood pulp market. More than 5,000 jobs were lost between 2014 and 2016.

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