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For Immediate Release

Date: 12/22/10

Rep. Dianne Tilton Named to Regulatory Reform Committee

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Dianne Tilton has been appointed to 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 the administration of Governor-elect Paul LePage to draft legislation and bring proposals before the Legislature.

Rep. Tilton (R-Harrington), a second-term legislator, is a graduate of the University of Maine at Orono and has extensive experience in business and economic development. She spent five years as the executive director of the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. She also served for 13 years as executive director of the Sunrise County Economic Council, in Machias, working on numerous economic development programs in Washington County.

Rep. Tilton said she is pleased to be on the new committee because of the opportunity it presents to improve Maine's business climate, ranked as the worst in the nation by Forbes magazine. "Laws are often passed without anticipating the rules and regulations needed to implement them," she said. "It is essential to protect the public while eliminating undue burdens on the individuals and entities that assume a lot of risk and make significant investments, creating jobs that sustain families and generate tax revenue. Making life easier for businesses will pay big dividends to the state."

The Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform will be co-chaired by State Rep. Jonathan McKane (R-Newcastle), an electrician now in his fourth term in the Maine House. He said the effort to root out damaging regulations and streamline procedures 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 meet a legitimate need, Rep. McKane noted, but too many are counterproductive. "We should apply a cost-benefit analysis and determine the changes that make sense," he said. "As an independent electrical contractor, I work with other contractors and small businesses on a daily basis. 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. The regulatory excess is blocking job growth and contributing to Maine's economic torpor."

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 sites around the state.

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 Robert Nutting and Senate President Kevin Raye.


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