PLC Member Weekly Update Dec. 23, 2022
In this Issue:
Logger’s Voice Winter Edition – Now Available!
Coverme.gov health insurance – Sign up by Jan. 15!
Tax reminder – COVID Tax Credit
New Opportunity to Recruit Veterans – Boots2Roots
Book Rooms Now – PLC Annual Meeting 2023
Cost Calculators – Members Only
PLC Store – Many items for sale
Safety Resources – Oct. 25 Safety Committee Meeting minutes now available!
Trucking – Latest news
Classified listings – Check them out!
Member Discounts – Many to choose from
Logging News – Latest headlines
Logger’s Voice Winter Edition Now Available!
The winter edition of The Logger’s Voice is now available!
Copies will be mailed out soon!
Sign up for health insurance at CoverME.gov by the January 15 deadline for coverage to start February 1st
Free assistance is available to help Mainers understand options and enroll in coverage.
Visit CoverME.gov or call Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Maine’s Consumer Assistance Program at 1-800-965-7476 for free, confidential help sorting through options and enrolling in coverage. Most Mainers who signed up for coverage through CoverME.gov last year received help paying for their coverage and that help is available again this coming year.
Don’t wait! Some options are time limited. Enroll in a Marketplace plan before the January 15 deadline for coverage to start February 1st. Mainers who are eligible for free or low-cost coverage through Maine Care can apply for Maine Care any time during the year. Call 1-800-965-7476 before January 15th for help understanding your options and enrolling in coverage.
Consumers for Affordable Health Care (CAHC) is a nonprofit organization designated as Maine’s Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program by Maine’s Attorney General. CAHC does not sell insurance. Our trained assisters can provide free, confidential help over the phone. In-person appointments are also provided if needed but space is limited. Don’t wait if you need insurance. You can visit CoverME.gov to explore plans or call 1-800-965-7476 before January 15, 2023 if you want help enrolling in coverage to start February 1st.
Tax Reminder: New law extends COVID tax credit for employers who keep workers on payroll
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service urges employers to take advantage of the newly-extended employee retention credit, designed to make it easier for businesses that, despite challenges posed by COVID-19, choose to keep their employees on the payroll.
The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted December 27, 2020, made a number of changes to the employee retention tax credits previously made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including modifying and extending the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), for six months through June 30, 2021. Several of the changes apply only to 2021, while others apply to both 2020 and 2021.
As a result of the new legislation, eligible employers can now claim a refundable tax credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of the qualified wages they pay to employees after December 31, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Qualified wages are limited to $10,000 per employee per calendar quarter in 2021. Thus, the maximum ERC amount available is $7,000 per employee per calendar quarter, for a total of $14,000 in 2021. LEARN MORE
New Opportunity to Recruit Veterans For Your Job Openings!
Send Job Openings to PLC
The PLC is working with the nonprofit organization Boots2Roots to connect your companies with a new pool of potential skilled workers – veterans recently retired from the military or planning to be who are seeking employment in Maine.
Boots2Roots is the only organization in Maine specifically focused on preparing active duty military members up to a year before they begin their transition for immediate success in Maine, while providing a pipeline of new workforce talent to Maine employers.
The PLC has been granted access to post jobs from our members on the Boots2Roots portal. This will put your job openings in front of veterans accessing the site. As most of you are aware, many veterans have skills or experience applicable to the logging industry, and a proven work ethic. This is a great opportunity!
Send your job openings to PLC Office Coordinator Vanessa Tillson at email@example.com and she will get them posted for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office at 207-688-8195.
Save the Date and Reserve Rooms Now!
PLC Annual Meeting May 4-5 2023
It is not too early to start thinking about the 2023 PLC Annual Meeting and Log A Load Auction! The meeting will be held May 4-5 2023 at the Harborside Hotel in Bar Harbor. Rooms are already available to book so why not reserve a room now?
Group Code: MEPL050423
Steps to reserve a room at the Harborside Hotel:
- Click on Link (can also type in the group code)
- At the top of the web site modify the dates of your stay – 1 or 2 nights
- You will not be charged until the event and the resort fee will be waived
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
PLC Members Only!
Equipment Cost Calculators Available
With expenses rising rapidly in the industry we know you are struggling to get a handle on your costs. This is a great time to utilize the cost calculators created in 2021 for PLC Members.
These new, easy to use, logging equipment and log trucking cost calculators are available on the PLC Members Only section of our web site You may access this private section of the web site with your member login or set up a login HERE.
These calculators allow you to quickly estimate the hourly cost of operation for any piece of your equipment.
DISCLAIMER: These calculators are being made available for your business use as a member benefit. They produce equipment estimates and are not official products of the PLC nor should they be used for negotiation purposes.
PLC Online Store
Looking for great PLC items and apparel? Gifts? First Aid packs, safety items and more? You will find them at the new PLC Online Store on our web site. Ordering is easy.
PLC Safety Committee Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the Oct. 25 meeting of the PLC Safety Committee are now available. Check them out at10-25-22 Safety Committee Meeting Notes.
Acadia Safety Reminder and Dividend 2022
Acadia Dividend Announcement and Reminder: Members who are part of the PLC Safety Group Dividend Program, let’s keep our focus on safety going forward as we are currently running a positive loss ratio for 2022! This means if we can hold the line on safety, we are on track to receive another year of dividends in 2023! Since 1999, Acadia has distributed over $13 million in premium dividends to eligible participants of this safety group. This year, Acadia Insurance announced it will pay $970,903 in premium dividends to eligible policyholder members of the PLC Safety Group. You may read the full announcement on the latest dividend HERE.
CPR/First Aid/Bloodborne Pathogens certification: Did you know your employees are required to have this training every two years? If your employees need this training in 2022, contact Jessica at Jessica@maineloggers.com or 207-688-8195 and the PLC will schedule training in your area. THIS TRAINING IS FREE TO MEMBERS!
NEW Featured HumpDay Safety Video – Working Focused
Now FREE to Maine Loggers! A $300 value!
The Safety Resources Page is located in the Members Only section of the PLC webite and contains many additional safety videos, resources, and materials for contractors. To check them out, click the link below and log in to the web site. If you do not have a login yet follow the instructions to create one. If you need help accessing the section contact the PLC office!
Last 3G Sunset Date Is December 31, 2022
Mobile carriers are shutting down their 3G networks, which may impact motor carriers if their ELDs rely on a 3G network. Read more about the 3G sunset.
The final announced 3G sunset date is December 31, 2022, when Verizon will complete the shutdown of its 3G network.
Any ELD that requires 3G cellular connectivity to perform its functionality will no longer be in compliance with the technical specifications in the ELD rule after the 3G network it relies on is sunset.
When in an area that does not support 3G, a 3G device will register a malfunction. In accordance with 49 CFR 395.34, the carrier has 8 days to get the malfunction resolved, in this case by replacement, unless an extension is granted.
FRA Special Issue Update- 12/21/2022
Congress Set to Pass Funding Deal Carrying FRA Policy Priorities
The Senate is expected to vote as early as today on a $1.7 trillion Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill and then send it to the House for approval before current federal government funding expires on December 23. The bill, which totals over 4,500 pages, is the vehicle for a number of non-spending policy priorities, including two that are at the top of the list for the forest products value chain.
Biomass: The proposal reauthorizes the current directive that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Energy recognize the carbon neutrality of forest-based biomass fuels and energy in any energy or environmental policymaking at the federal level. This appropriations “rider” has been a target of environmental groups that oppose combusting biomass for energy. In fact, for the last several appropriations cycles, attempts have been made to water down language in the rider to recognize only “carbon benefits” of biomass but ignore the fact that energy derived from biomass combustion is carbon neutral. Our champions in the Senate, led by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), worked tirelessly to ensure that the existing biomass carbon neutrality directive remain unaltered and extended through the next fiscal year. FRA would like to thank Senator Collins for her stalwart leadership in this space.
Guestworker Visas: The package also extends the Secretary of Homeland Security’s authority to increase the number of H-2B visas permitted each year by about 65,000 visas. As part of this provision, the language around staggered crossings, the use of private wage surveys, and a 10-month season are also extended. While FRA continues to seek broader guestworker reform, we are pleased that guestworker visa cap relief is included in this deal.
Another item of note in the omnibus is that it includes provisions of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, a bipartisan bill that authorizes the USDA to register technical service providers to help farmers and forest landowners implement greenhouse gas mitigating/sequestration practices on their lands to generate credits in voluntary carbon markets. Incoming House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) negotiated a change to the proposal that precludes USDA from using its finance arm—the Commodity Credit Corporation—to implement or expand the program. FRA has been monitoring this legislation since it was introduced last year.
A new study published in an international forestry journal finds that better forest management could significantly grow New England’s carbon storage, improve wildlife habitat and provide a reliable timber supply.
Register: Upcoming Wage & Hour Compliance Classes
Labor laws can be complex – join the Maine Department of Labor for a Wage and Hour Compliance Assistance class!
This course is designed for human resource or benefits professionals, accountants, business owners, managers, or payroll supervisors. It will cover wage and hour laws, including minimum wage, overtime, youth employment, severance pay, equal pay, rest breaks, and paid or unpaid leave requirements. It will also address commonly asked labor-related questions.
Upcoming classes – choose whichever date and location works best for you:
- January 18, 2023 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Tri-County CareerCenter, 45 Oak Street, Suite 3, Bangor
- January 25, 2023 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the SafetyWorks! Training Institute, 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta
- February 1, 2023 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Rockland CareerCenter, 91 Camden Street, Suite 201, Rockland
- February 8, 2023 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Portland CareerCenter, 151 Jetport Blvd, Portland
- February 15, 2023 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Presque Isle CareerCenter, 66 Spruce Street, Suite 1, Presque Isle
Register and browse more classes here: https://www.safetyworksmaine.gov/training/scheduled_classes/register.shtml
TRUCKING DISCOUNTS THROUGH THE ALC!
PLC Members, because the PLC is a member of the American Loggers Council YOU are entitled to special discounts on truck purchases! Click on the brand names below to learn more!
Fabian Oil Discount
Traction Heavy Duty Special
Maine Trailer Discounts
PLC Members get a 5% discount on culverts purchased at Treeline and Frank Martin & Sons
Hale Trailer discounts for PLC Members on new trailer purchases! Call Neal at 207-232-7969 for details!
Cross Arena Discounts for PLC!
Check out the equipment and job opportunities our members have listed at the LOGGING ZONE! If you have equipment for sale, are looking to buy, are looking for employees, or
Preferred Supporting Members
Enhanced Supporting Members