Governor Elect LePage Asks Business Owners For Input 

Governor Elect Paul LePage says he wants to make Maine a more business friendly state.He’s asking for suggestions from members of the business community to help make that happen. A group of about 30 leaders from Maine businesses of all sizes and industries met in Ellsworth to offer their ideas. Members of the LePage transition team and state lawmakers were all ears. “They came armed today with great ideas from the front lines,” says Republican State Senator Brian Langley. The roundtable is called a red tape workshop. There were two major points of emphasis from business leaders. First, health care costs — they want to be able to go out of state for their health insurance if they choose to. Second, too much red tape in Augusta.Robert Merrill, President of Merrill Furniture, says Augusta needs to speed things up. “But every time someone wants to raise oysters or salmon or whatever, my God, every agency known to man comes out with this regulation and that regulation, the lawsuits fly,” he told the panel. “Which this all may be part of the process but at least speed the process up.”People in attendance were given a form to fill out with their suggestions.A representative from the LePage transition team, Communications Director Dan Demeritt, says they’ll look at all the suggestions carefully. “This is their chance to work with an administration and legislative leadership that really wants to make a change and hopefully people will take us up on it and get involved,” he says.As for the business leaders here, they say they’re cautiously optimistic that Augusta will actually listen to their suggestions and make some changes. “I’m confident they’re going to try,” says Merrill. “I’m very confident about that. But I’m more interested in results than statements.”Members of the LePage transition team are holding more red tape workshops all over the state between now and the start of the legislative session in January. They’re also taking suggestions on their website, www.lepage