The budget proposed by Gov. Paul LePage is balanced disproportionately on the backs of state retirees and towns.
He has proposed a decrease in state revenue sharing of $92 million and a decrease in general assistance payments. That shifts the burden from the state to the local property taxpayer.
Instead of negotiating with the union, he has chosen to tell those collecting retirement to go another two years without a cost of living increase, and future increases will be capped at 2 percent, regardless of the increase in the cost of living. Retirees have already gone two years without an increase.
LePage will be eligible to collect 36 percent of his pay plus full health benefits when he leaves office. Teachers have to work 18 years to receive that percentage and have to pay 55 percent of their insurance. He could arbitrarily state that he would take no more than 2 percent per year of service and pay 55 percent of the retirement premium, plus he could propose making these changes for future governors.
He claims he isn't anti-labor or trying to break unions. Yet he is arbitrarily removing a mural depicting the history of labor in Maine without saying who has complained about it; renaming conference rooms named after past labor leaders; and having a business committee whose members appear to be afraid to say something in public that will be said behind closed doors.
It appears the only people he listens to are those who agree with him.
Stan Tetenman, Poland