Augusta (February 4, 2014) – Governor Paul LePage’s heavy emphasis this evening on improving Maine’s economic climate is exactly what the state needs to create jobs and spread prosperity to more people, said the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
“The Governor has never really lost his focus on making Maine a better place for business and that was clearly evident this evening,” said NFIB State Director David Clough. “He’s proposed some initiatives that won’t be easy to pass but which are objectively sensible for a state that badly needs economic growth.”
LePage delivered his annual State of the State Address tonight before a joint session of the Legislature. In his remarks he pointed out that despite higher taxes and heavy regulations piled up over decades, Maine’s economy hasn’t produced the results that the advocates of those policies promised.
The Governor pointed out that Mainers pay nearly twice the national average to heat their homes. The cost of energy is a key concern for small business owners, said Clough, and they support the Governor’s plan to access natural gas from Pennsylvania and hydro power energy from Quebec.
“The Governor said he doesn’t have a favorite energy source and neither do small business owners,” said Clough. “Lower energy costs will free up capital for small businesses and discretionary income for consumers, which would directly improve the economy.”
LePage proposed the creation of “Open for Business Zones” that would offer incentives to businesses to locate in Maine. They would also be right-to-work regions, meaning that employees there wouldn’t be forced to join unions.
“The right-to-work states have drawn a lot of investment from international businesses and they’ve created a lot of jobs,” said Clough. “Maine is missing out of some of that opportunity and the Governor’s plan would make us more attractive.”
Another key initiative that the Governor unveiled tonight would be a statewide voter referendum asking Mainers whether they want to cut taxes.
“Taxes have been such a point of contention in the Legislature and the Governor clearly wants to take the politics of the issues,” said Clough. “It’s a challenge that lawmakers should take seriously.
“High taxes siphon money away from small business employers and consumers,” he continued. “It’s people who invest in jobs and businesses that make growth happen.”
Please contact David Clough directly to arrange an interview. You may also contact Sr. Regional Media Manager Jack Mozloom at 609-462-5610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about NFIB please visit www.nfib.com.