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Committee Makes Recommendation for Labor Commissioner

Gov. Paul LePage’s longtime economic policy advisor, John Butera, has been recommended to be the next Labor Commissioner by the Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee by a vote of 8-1.

Butera was questioned about the need to attract workers from other states and countries to help meet Maine’s workforce need.

“We need to work with everybody to make sure we get people with skills or else our economy will severely be hampered in the next 5-10 years,” he says. “We need to kind of make sure we have to look at all those different pools of potential labor and then we also need to be looking outside our orders to try and get more people in here.”

Butera’s role in the LePage administration’s controversial decision to remove a labor mural from a prominent location in the Department of Labor six years ago was also questioned. He said he agreed with the decision because the Department must be balanced in serving the needs of labor with businesses that employ Mainers.

The nomination still needs Senate approval.