Paul LePage on Jobs
The starting wage at NexxLinx is between $8.50 and $9 per hour, plus incentives. That amounts to about $19,000 per year for employees who work 40 hours per week.
"People can cry and holler all they want, but if we don't reduce energy costs, we're going to have two Maines," LePage said. The other Maine, he said, is in the south, where there are higher-wage jobs. [A Nexxlink spokesman said the issue was finding good workers, not energy costs.]
All of those governors won a first term in the national Republican sweep of 2010, and most have had strong Republican representation in their legislatures to support them. But LePage was tasked with facing a Democrat-controlled legislature, and in July he vetoed a bill to incrementally raise the state's minimum wage.
For his likely Democratic challenger, Rep. Mike Michaud, increasing the minimum wage is an issue the onetime paper mill worker from northern Maine discusses often, said a campaign adviser. "He is closely aligned with working- and middle-class families," Farmer said. "He's not a millionaire.
However, let me be clear, I am not interested in helping those who increase the cost of living on Maine people for personal financial gain. Unemployment is down in Maine, lower than the national average. We are focusing our efforts on branding the State of Maine, recognizing that Maine made products embody quality and value. Government is becoming more transparent. We exposed the wasteful use of Mainers tax dollars at agencies such as the Maine Turnpike Authority and Maine State Housing Authority. We not only exposed it--we cleaned it up. We have more to do!