AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage says the state has set up a “Red Tape Hotline” as he continues his efforts to help Maine’s business climate.

In his weekly radio address today, the governor says the state lacks a balance in the way Maine government treats businesses and residents.

He says his administration is rolling out a number of initiatives to help small businesses, which he calls the “bread and butter” of the state’s economy.

One of those initiatives is a so-called “Red Tape Hotline,” which was set up a week ago by the Department of Economic and Community Development to help businesses with licensing, permitting or regulatory issues.

The governor says his proposals for tax cuts and changes in Maine’s pension system will also go a long way toward helping small businesses.

In Saturday’s Democratic radio address, Sen. Barry Hobbins of Saco said LePage has deviated from his promise of government transparency since taking office.

Democrats supported LePage’s pledge of government transparency while he was campaigning for governor, but the time has come to speak out against LePage’s plan to make his newly formed Business Advisory Council exempt from the state’s right-to-know laws, Hobbins said.

Hobbins said he endorses the council’s mission of strengthening the Maine economy and creating good-paying jobs, but he opposes any efforts to keep the council’s actions secret.

“I can only speak about that which I see – and if we’re not allowed to see who and what is behind the curtain, suspicion and doubt will brew,” Hobbins said in his radio address.