AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage says Mainers who want to see prosperity need only look one state to the west.

In his weekly radio address today, LePage says Maine needs to move forward on several fronts in order to achieve prosperity. He says the state’s tax burden, costs of health care and energy and the business climate must all be addressed.

LePage says New Hampshire is a “more welcoming place for commerce.” While the Granite State’s population is only slightly larger than Maine’s, its $60 billion gross domestic product is 20 percent more than Maine’s $50 billion in economic activity, he says. LePage says New Hampshire’s household incomes, $63,731, are seventh-highest in the country, compared to Maine’s 37th ranking at $46,581.

“It will take hard work, but we can put Maine on a footing where we can compete with New Hampshire and the world,” LePage says.

In the Democratic response, Rep. Bruce MacDonald of Boothbay brings up the public outcry over the governor’s removal of murals from the state Labor Department office.

“As we approach the 100-day mark of the LePage administration’s time in office, we appreciate our Republican colleagues finally joining us in saying ‘enough is enough,’ on the dramatics coming from the Governor’s office that are wasting everyone’s time,” MacDonald says, referring to a published column from eight GOP senators.

But MacDonald said Democrats are mostly concerned about LePage’s policies.

“New jobs and a strong economy come from smart tax and investment policies that benefit our local small businesses, our traditional industries, and help attract new industries to our state,” MacDonald says. He also called for investments in education.


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