U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine is leading an effort to reform a temporary work visa program many Maine inns and restaurants depend on for seasonal help.
Congress has curtailed the number of the so-called H2-B visas to be issued this year compared to last, and businesses in states with a relatively late tourist season, such as Maine, are scrambling to find staffing alternatives.
King, an independent, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and several others are co-sponsoring what they call the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act. The bill would exempt those who have previously worked in the U.S. from the program’s existing cap, potentially allowing tens of thousands more work-visas into the mix.
Correction: Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, not Tim Warner, is co-sponsoring the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act.