AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development has set up a “Red Tape Hotline” as part of Gov. Paul LePage’s pledge to help the state’s business climate.
In his weekly radio address Saturday, the governor said the state lacks a balance in the way Maine government treats businesses and residents.
One of LePage’s initiatives to help business is a so-called “Red Tape Hotline,” which was set up a week ago to help businesses with licensing, permitting or regulatory issues, LePage said.
“Small businesses are the bread and butter for many hard-working families. Those families are facing tough times and making ends meet is getting more difficult by the day,” he said in his address. “I can tell you this though, when businesses are profitable, Mainers prosper. That’s why my administration is rolling out a number of initiatives to help small business owners.”
The governor said his proposals for tax cuts and changes in Maine’s pension system will also go a long way toward helping small businesses.
In Saturday’s Democratic radio address, Sen. Barry Hobbins of Saco said LePage has deviated from his promise of government transparency since taking office.
Democrats supported LePage’s pledge of government transparency while he was campaigning for governor, but the time has come to speak out against LePage’s plan to make his newly formed Business Advisory Council exempt from the state’s right-to-know laws, Hobbins said.
Hobbins said he endorses the council’s mission of strengthening the Maine economy and creating good-paying jobs, but he opposes any efforts to keep the council’s actions secret.
“I can only speak about that which I see — and if we’re not allowed to see who and what is behind the curtain, suspicion and doubt will brew,” Hobbins said in his radio address.