Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hear No Labor

Governor-elect LePage is setting the tone-deafness for his future administration as reported in the December 1st Kennebec Journal:
Gov.-elect Paul LePage is asking businesses and industry groups to help him reduce the regulations they believe hinder economic development.

He launched this effort Tuesday at an unprecedented meeting at the Augusta Civic Center. LePage asked about 100 gathered business people for their ideas -- and political support -- when he presents a package of regulatory reform bills to the Legislature.

"What can we do to assist you to provide better jobs in Maine?" LePage asked the crowd.

Absent from those invited to the forum were environmental groups, public health advocates and consumer advocates. LePage said those groups will have an opportunity to weigh in on his proposals as part of the legislative process.

Governor-elect LePage is starting out by choosing selective listening, to those who mirror his views and already support him, as his standard operating procedure. This narrow outlook along with clumsy actions by GOP members of the legislature to eliminate the labor committee as reported in the following Sun Journal piece signal how one-sided this administration and its legislative allies intend to be:
Established in 1887, the Joint Standing Committee on Labor is responsible for overseeing changes in wage and workplace safety laws, union negotiations and the Maine State Retirement System.

Republican leaders acknowledged Tuesday that they were seeking to shift that oversight to other committees, or to potentially dissolve the Labor Committee and create another panel on which such duties would be combined with business development tasks.

The presumptive House Speaker, Rep. Robert Nutting, R-Oakland, said the plan was to put business development and labor matters before one panel, and to potentially save money, although those savings were not disclosed Tuesday.

The greatest "savings" potentially would be the first time the minimum wage comes in front of a committee dedicated to business development.

No comments: