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It was a busy week at our Capitol as Maine’s fiscal debate continued on the 6 billion dollar budget. We should have a budget within days.

Hi, this is Governor Paul LePage.

The budget is a complex piece of legislation that affects all of us. There are tax cuts for job creators and working families, pension reform that will help us save the system and substantial change to welfare programs that will not only save the State money, but will encourage people to become self-sufficient.

Separately these are intricate pieces of a puzzle that promise savings and promote fiscal responsibility. Together these pieces will help produce jobs and drive Maine forward.

There is a culture shift in Augusta that is being reflected through the budget process. The transformation is also being made through legislation that has already passed through the House and Senate.

This week LD 1 came to my desk. A major signing ceremony will be held soon. This bill, like the budget, will help build our economy.

LD 1 cuts through red tape that has tangled up government for decades. Many great ideas from citizens and job creators have been included in this bill.

Some of the changes that were introduced at my red tape audit workshops can be found in LD 1 such as the Business Liaison Program – in other words, one-stop shopping for people who need help navigating through the maze of government permitting.

This is a program that will enable job creators to expand their business. As an experienced businessman I can tell you this - when you give companies the tools they need to succeed they will be able to hire more Maine people. This is a win-win for our local economies and working families.

LD 1 also establishes an Environmental Audit Program. The voluntary program is a self review process intended to enhance protection of human health and the environment by encouraging businesses to voluntarily discover, disclose, correct and prevent violations of State and Federal environmental requirements.

It’s important that we have a balance that demonstrates a commitment to our environment and natural resources as well as to Maine people. There is still much to be done to improve Maine’s business climate, but we believe LD 1 takes the first substantial step in that direction.

Before I took the oath of office I made a promise to Maine people. That promise was to put you first. For too long the taxpayer has not been represented in Augusta. For too long, job creators have been overlooked. It’s time for bold change and that change is happening.

Politics will always be tossed around within the walls of the State House, but I won’t allow the people of Maine to be tossed out. You are the reason I am proud to be Governor and I thank you for this great opportunity.

I appreciate your time and hope you enjoy the weekend.

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