PORTLAND — During this year’s gubernatorial campaign, Gov.-elect Paul LePage heard over and over that Maine is a difficult place to do business.

That’s about to change, said John Butera, co-chairman of LePage’s transition team.

“We are very serious about improving the business climate and empowering the job creators,” Butera said Tuesday night during a presentation for more than 100 executives of technology businesses.

Butera was invited to speak at the kickoff to TechMaine’s annual two-day conference in Portland. TechMaine – the Technology Association of Maine, founded in 1992 – is the trade association for Maine’s technology industries.

The conference will continue today at the Clarion Hotel, with Andrew McAfee giving the keynote speech. McAfee has built a reputation for studying ways that information technology affects businesses.

“All the people here tonight are suffering from (government) overregulation,” said Joe Kumiszcza, executive director of TechMaine. “They want to know, how can we move the state forward?”

Butera, executive director of the Central Maine Growth Council, said he could not make any guarantees but the incoming administration will do everything it can to shrink government regulations.

Butera, who also served under independent Gov. Angus King, said, “One of Gov.-elect LePage’s mantras has been, profit is not a dirty word. When businesses prosper, the state prospers.”

Butera said the new administration will try to align academic programs with what the workforce needs, training students for jobs that are in the greatest demand.

LePage has also proposed what he calls a red tape removal audit – a comprehensive review of state regulations that may be impeding job creation.

“As governor, Paul LePage is committed to setting free the job creators. How is he going to do that? He is going to let government get out of your way,” Butera said.

 

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be reached at 791-6365 or at: [email protected]