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Governor Announces Co-Chairs for Blue Ribbon Commission

April 23, 2013

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 23
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage announced today the nomination of two members to the Blue Ribbon Commission that will investigate Maine’s unemployment compensation system. Governor LePage announced the Hon. George M. Jabar and the Hon. Daniel Wathen will co-chair the Commission.

The Hon. George Jabar currently serves as a Commissioner for Kennebec County and is a practicing attorney in Waterville. He has been a partner in the firm of Jabar, Batten, Ringer & LaLiberty since 1982 and has held leadership positions in a number of community organizations. He is a graduate of the University of Maine at Orono and the New England School of Law.

The Hon. Daniel Wathen served for 20 years on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, ten of which as the Chief Justice. He has served as a Justice of the Maine Superior Court. In private practice, Judge Wathen practiced both trial and transactional law and, more recently, as arbitrator, mediator, and court assigned special master. He is a graduate of Ricker College and the University of Maine School of Law where he served as editor-in-chief of the Maine Law Review.

To maintain balance and impartiality, the Blue Ribbon Commission will include representatives of both employers and employees. The goal of the Commission is to ensure Maine’s Unemployment Insurance system provides benefits for workers who are rightly entitled to them, while ensuring businesses are not charged when they appropriately let employees go. Additionally, the Commission will review the rules and laws governing the system to assure Mainers they are consistently applied.

“Both of these men bring integrity and impeccable credentials to a Commission that will be tasked with taking an in-depth look at the state’s entire unemployment compensation system to make sure that it is fair and consistent for all Mainers,” Governor LePage said. “It is my responsibility to ensure Mainers we have a system that is doing what it is designed to do: administer unemployment compensation in a judicious way that benefits both employers and employees."

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