AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine lawmaker wants vacationers to consider living in the state year-round instead of just visiting.
Rep. Kent Ackley (I-District 82) of Monmouth is proposing a new bill that would change the famous "Vacationland" slogan on Maine license plates to "Staycationland."
The move comes as the baby-boomer generation in the state gets closer to retiring.
Ackley says Maine is demographically the oldest state in the country and will need about 50,000 new workers in the next 10 years to replace those who are gradually moving out of the workforce.
There are, however, other reasons for families to consider sticking around, even when their vacations have come to an end.
"All my friends from away appreciate Maine because it’s the most beautiful place that they know. We’ve done a great job of keeping Maine naturally beautiful and preserving our natural resources," Ackley said.
The term "Vacationland" was first coined for Maine in 1936 during the Great Depression. Ackley noted that back then, the state needed visitors to create revenue but was not ready to support an influx of people. Years later, however, Maine is ready to bring in new families to contribute to the workforce and build on the existing community.
"Why would we tell people to go home at the end of the summer when every year-rounder knows there are tremendous opportunities for loving the outdoors all year-round?" Ackley said.
The Transportation Committee will vote on the bill February 7 at 1 p.m.