Maine Exhales

LePage destroyed the institutional capacity of Maine state government to do its job. The recovery from this epic maladministration will take years. With a Republican legislature backing him during his first two years in office, LePage passed income tax cuts for the state’s wealthiest residents, effectively slashing revenues available for municipal services, education, and other areas. The Maine Center for Economic Policy estimates that the LePage-era income tax cuts will cost the state $860 million in revenues during the fiscal 2020-2021 budget cycle. He prohibited department heads from testifying before legislative committees, which forced lawmakers to try to obtain financial information from low-level agency employees or to have a LePage-friendly Republican ally ask for the data in order to craft state budgets, according to Senate Majority Leader Nate Libby. LePage vetoed climate change planning strategies and had no use for renewable-energy, imposing a moratorium on commercial turbine projects and dismantling the state’s net metering program.

Click here to read the full story, first published on June 12, 2019, in The American Prospect.