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For Immediate Release

Date: 12/21/10

Rep. McKane Named Co-chair of 'Red Tape' Committee

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Jonathan McKane has been appointed co-chair of a new, 15-member select committee created to study Maine's regulatory system and propose changes to help improve the state's business environment.

The panel, formally named the Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform, will work in concert with Governor-elect Paul LePage to draft legislation and bring their proposals before the Legislature.

The Senate co-chair is Sen. Jon Courtney (R-York County), recently elected as the Senate Majority Leader. Nine Republicans and six Democrats have been appointed to the committee by House Speaker Bob Nutting and Senate President Kevin Raye.

Rep. McKane (R-Newcastle), now in his fourth term in the Maine House, said the effort to root out damaging regulations is "a great opportunity to shift power away from the bureaucracy and put the people and businesses of this state back in charge. Some regulations are rational and serve a purpose, but too many are counterproductive. We should apply a cost-benefit analysis and determine the changes that make sense."

The committee's approach to its work is still under discussion, but the panel is expected to hold public hearings outside Augusta at perhaps five or six geographically dispersed sites around the state.

Rep. McKane has served on the Marine Resources and the Insurance and Financial Services committees during his time in office. He said those experiences and his own work have convinced him that regulatory excess is blocking job growth and contributing to Maine's economic torpor.

"As an independent electrical contractor, I work with other contractors and small businesses on a daily basis," he said. "I have been listening to stories about heavy-handed bureaucracy for years. More often than not, the problem is not the actual law but the interpretation and overzealous rulemaking by regulators. The enforcement that follows can spell doom to a small business. We can't afford to needlessly punish and harass employers; not when we are in dire need of more jobs."

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Contact:
Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445