BRUNSWICK, ME – The Angus King for U.S. Senate campaign today announced that U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) has secured the endorsement of the Maine Innkeepers Association and the Maine Restaurant Association. The two associations work to improve and promote Maine’s hospitality, food service, and tourism industries.
“Tens of millions of people come to Maine every year to see our beautiful state and contribute to the Maine economy,” Senator King said. “And during their visit, they are fortunate to receive top quality accommodations thanks to the hard work of the men and women in our food service and hospitality industries. The Maine Innkeepers Association and the Maine Restaurant Association are consummate advocates for their members, fighting for more H-2B workers who support the tourism industry and help support good jobs for people in Maine. I will continue to fight alongside them, as we work to strengthen our economy and help build a more prosperous Maine.”
“Developing a sustainable hospitality workforce has become the most critical need for our members, and is vitally important to Maine’s overall economy,” said Steve Hewins, President and CEO of the Maine Innkeepers Association and Maine Restaurant Association. “Senator King has always been a strong supporter of the hospitality industry, and his leadership at the federal level is needed more than ever if we are to solve this problem, which now threatens the very future of our industry.”
“Senator King has been a strong ally and vocal supporter of Maine’s hospitality industry,” said Greg Dugal, Director of Government Affairs for the Maine Innkeepers Association and Maine Restaurant Association. “He has been a very valuable voice in the fight to increase the numbers of H2B visas for our Maine members and hospitality businesses in general and for that we are grateful. This is an ongoing effort and there is more work to be done. That is why I think it is very important that Senator King is given the opportunity to continue advocating for our industry.”
During his first term in Washington, Senator King has worked to strengthen the tourism industry, which brings in billions of dollars of revenue annually to Maine and employs tens of thousands of Maine people. He has advocated for workforce development efforts that help create jobs and is a co-sponsor of the Waterfront Community Revitalization and Resiliency Act which aims to revitalize Maine waterfront communities and bolster the economy in coastal Maine.
Senator King has also repeatedly pushed both the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security to increase the visa cap for H-2B visas so American businesses can hire temporary workers. Senator King also introduced the bipartisan Save Our Small Businesses and Seasonal Businesses Act in 2017 to reform the H-2B visa program to help seasonal employers better navigate it. After writing to Senate leadership urging the bill’s inclusion in the FY 2017 spending bill, it was successfully included in the final package. Since then, Senator King has continually called on the Administration to immediately lift the H-2B visa cap under the authority given to it by Congress.
Senator King has been endorsed by End Citizens United, the Maine Education Association, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the Professional Firefighters of Maine, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local S6, the Maine State Council of Machinists, the League of Conservation Voters, and Maine AFL-CIO.