As Tricia noted this morning, Maine's labor mural is back, now in a non-labor context. Governor Paul LePage took it down in 2011, saying it wasn't proper to have a mural about the plight of workers on display at the state's labor department. On the occasion of its unveiling today at the Maine State Museum, Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette put the best face on it. "This is now a famous piece of art, and we are glad that the museum can provide the security, the space, the exhibit and conservation expertise that we at the Department of Labor cannot."
Also back in Maine: Slightly higher taxes. You may remember that Governor LePage passed signed big tax cuts when he took office, only to find his state is now broke. It turns out there's a fix for that, called "revenue." From the Portland Press Herald:
Gov. Paul LePage's proposed state budget makes no mention of a tax increase, but it would raise the tax bill of the average Mainer by $39 over the next two years.
The proposal relies on subtle, but lucrative, changes to the state's income tax indexing. The way it would work is complicated, but the result is a projected increase of more than $8.6 million in state income tax collections over the two fiscal years beginning July 1, and an estimated $1.5 million in subsequent years.
The way LePage's proposal works is complicated -- chained consumer price indexing, anyone? -- but one possible effect is that more taxpayers end up in higher tax brackets, meaning that Maine would get help balancing its budget by making middle-class and working families pay more.