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For Immediate Release

Date: 12/22/10

Rep. Mike McClellan appointed to 'Red Tape' Committee

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Mike McClellan has been named 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 incoming administration of Governor-elect Paul LePage to draft legislation and bring proposals before the Legislature.

Rep. McClellan (R-Raymond) is a consultant in the business and economic development arena, a background that should fit well with the committee's mission. "Many new legislators, including myself, ran on the concept of making Maine more accessible and efficient for our business community," he said. "This committee is made up of members from both parties, and with the obvious interest Governor-elect LePage has shown in this issue, we have a great opportunity to positively impact our state."

Rep. McClellan also was named Chamber Executive of the Year for 2007-2008 by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. His district includes Frye Island, part of Poland, Raymond and part of Standish.

The representative said a well-functioning business environment will positively impact jobs, household income, health care, education and other issues of importance to the new 125th Legislature. "I am well aware of the many assets our state offers that would suggest we should be a great location for new businesses," he said. "Our perhaps well-intentioned regulatory hurdles have instead caused us to fall behind nationally in job and business growth."

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 serve a purpose, he 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