BETHEL — Members of Gov. Paul LePage’s administration networked with local business owners and community members during a breakfast Wednesday.

The Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the event at the Bethel Inn Resort. Guests John Butera, LePage’s senior economic policy adviser, and George Gervais, commissioner of Department of Economic and Community Development, spoke to the group.

Butera and Gervais talked about LePage’s bill, LD 1, and how it will help streamline government and make Maine a more business-friendly state.

LD 1 is a reform measure that LePage believes will help to kill stringent regulations that business owners believe hinder economic development.

Gervais touched on the subject of streamlining the permit and licensing process by making a centralized online system. Gervais said that was one of his main goals.

Grevais also talked about Maine’s new small business advocate position that was created to give residents a single point of contact for concerns with business regulations and to help with the legislative process. He said giving Maine business owners a point of contact to help improve Maine’s regulations is important.

Butera had similar talking points, including pension reform, education, lowering taxes and health care reform. He said bureaucrats in Augusta could not live in a vacuum.

“We have to hear from you folks on the future of Maine,” he said.

Gervais and Butera took suggestions from the crowd on how to better streamline government, including paying taxes online, and how to increase business in Maine through tourism.

A group of students from Telstar’s navigating life course attended with Dean of Students Charlie Raymond. Student Adam Mahar expressed his concerns about education.

Butera had pointed to the need to increase education in technical trades and Mahar was concerned students going to college would be left behind.

Butera said he believed LePage’s vision was to have a wide spectrum of programs available for all students.

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