LR 222: Maine Code of Corporate Responsibility

The Maine Code of Corporate Responsibility, introduced by Rep. John Eder of Portland, amends corporate charter law to enlarge the responsibilities of directors. At present, they are responsible only for serving the interests of the corporation--generating short-term profits for the stockholders--and so are actually required by law to ignore the public interest. This code, drafted in concert with former corporate attorney and Maine resident Robert Hinkley and attorney William Crain of Pownal, will correct what Hinkley calls a terrible "flaw in the corporation's design." When enacted, LR 222 will:

  • prohibit directors of any corporation chartered in Maine from pursuing profit "at the expense of the environment, human rights, public health or safety, welfare of the communities in which the corporation operates or dignity of its employees";
  • immediately enable corporate directors who want to support the well-being of Maine's people, communities, and environment to do so legally;
  • make Maine a leader in a movement that's gathering momentum in Minnesota, California, and other states; and
  • encourage Maine corporations to remain committed to the state by suspending any punitive actions until 25 other states have likewise amended their corporate charter laws and then applying them only to large, for-profit corporations (with annual revenues of $15 million or more).

Courtesy of Lane Fisher

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