Gov. Paul LePage has proposed to more than double the Maine governor’s salary (LD 1878). The office of governor currently receives a salary of $70,000. In addition, housing, food, vehicle and personal driver, health care and all travel expenses are paid for by Maine taxpayers. When Gov. LePage leaves office (after eight years of service), he will receive 37.5 percent of the sitting governor’s salary. Since Gov. LePage’s retirement salary is tied to the sitting governor’s salary, his retirement pay will more than double as well.

But the cost does not end there. There are, currently, five retired governors who would then receive the same increase. The cost to taxpayers? With an increase in meal and housing allowances to $50 and $75 per day also requested by the governor, increased costs to taxpayers would be $597,513 in the first year and $670,000 annually by the year 2021.

People can do the math themselves or read the preliminary fiscal impact estimates available online from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes.

I agree that there should be an increase in the governor’s pay, but it should be fair for all and tie increases in the governor’s salary to the same increases bargained for public employees.

Gov. LePage made it sound like it was a good deal for Maine taxpayers when slashing the retirement pensions of public school teachers and government employees. It appears the height of hypocrisy to now decide that he should feather his retirement nest with exorbitant payouts.

Jan Collins, Wilton

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