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For Immediate Release

Date: 12/12/12

Democrats Back Down in the Face of Public Outrage

Legislative Council scraps plan to pay political appointees more than allowed by law

AUGUSTA - Democratic leaders on the legislative council today backed off from their proposal to pay their political appointees to the positions of attorney general, secretary of state, and clerk of the house more than allowed by state law.

"I'm glad that the Legislative Council agreed to follow the rule of law in resolving this issue," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "The right choice was clear from the outset and the original proposal was particularly troublesome to the public at a time when hardworking Mainers are struggling to pay their bills."

Senate Republican Leader Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) concurred, expressing relief that the Democrats abandoned their proposal.

"While I am relieved that Democratic leadership ultimately made the right choice in the face of public outrage, it is unfortunate that they were even considering paying political appointees more than the law allows during these hard economic times," said Senator Thibodeau.

The discussion of salary increases comes at a time when the Governor is considering a curtailment order that makes cuts across state government, including a request that the Legislative branch cut its budget by roughly $375,000. Upon assuming the majority in 2010, Republicans on the Legislative Council reduced the budget of the Legislative branch by 15 percent, saving millions of dollars. ###

Contact:
David Sorensen, Communications Director
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793