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New bill looks to get more transparency from Maine governors on spending

It would require an annual report by the Governor of any expenditure of $250 or more from the governor’s expense account.
(WABI)
Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 6:03 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The legislative committee on state and local government held a public hearing today about more transparency from Maine governors.

The bill would require an annual report by the Governor of any expenditure of $250 or more from the governor’s expense account.

The annual report would be given to the commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.

It’s sponsored by Representative Will Tuell of East Machias.

”If the labor or reporting this in the ethics commission is a matter of transparency, a matter of public accessibility, and a check and a balance that Maine needs,” said Tuell.

“Although referred to as an expense account, it has been considered a taxable fringe benefit to the Governor’s salary, which has been set at $70,000 since 1987, as such it doesn’t make sense for expenditures to be tracked the way this bill proposes,” said Kirsten Figueroa, Commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

Maine Governor’s have 30-thousand dollars to spend annually in their expense account.

Tuell says this should start at the beginning of the next gubernatorial term.

It will move to a work session in the coming weeks.

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