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Good morning. This is Maine Governor Paul LePage.

I have recently submitted to the Legislature a collection of regulatory reform proposals. The proposals are the beginnings of the reform agenda I needed to turn Maine’s economy around and create jobs for Maine people.

Most of the proposals I have developed come directly from business owners and managers who have attended the Red Tape Workshops that have been held throughout Maine. Before we are done in early February, local chambers of commerce will have hosted 25 Red Tap Workshops giving over 1,000 job creators the opportunity to share their ideas for regulatory reform.

Part of our plan is to conform to federal regulations when it makes sense. Federal standards offer strong protections and have the benefit of being commonly understood throughout the country.

In many respects federal standards are Maine standards thanks to the leadership role that Senators Muskie, Mitchell, Cohen, Snowe and Collins have had in handcrafting our national environmental laws.

Conforming to federal standards also makes the regulatory process simpler. The rules, handbooks, and training protocols already exist and could be quickly adopted and understood by our agencies and by those looking to invest in Maine.

I am willing to consider additional protections tied to something truly unique about Maine, but I do not subscribe to the notion that nearly every part of our environment needs an expensive additional protection. This approach has made us dead last in business climate and we cannot afford it anymore.

I am committed to finding a balance between protecting Maine’s environment and creating good paying jobs for working families. We need a partnership between the private and public sector and everyone has to do their part.

I am asking state officials to embrace opportunities to improve the relationship between regulators and those filing applications and plans for consideration. After all, Maine people pay the bills.

Everyone in state government has to commit themselves to partnering with the private sector to answer questions and to find commonsense solutions. We must pursue every option, every collaboration and every outside the box suggestion on behalf of taxpayers and business creators.

Maine's working families and small businesses are endangered. It is time we start defending the interests of those who want to work and invest in Maine with the same vigor that we defend Tree Frogs and Canadian Lynx. There is an obtainable balance. We can find it if we put people before politics and work together.

Thank you for listening and have a good weekend.

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