AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Gov. Paul LePage says he's establishing a special commission to investigate Maine's unemployment compensation system.
The governor's announcement Wednesday comes in the wake of criticism that LePage pressured unemployment hearing officers, who decide unemployment benefit appeals, to decide more cases to favor business. The Maine Employment Lawyers Association is also asking federal labor officials to look into the claims.
LePage labels the request for a U.S. Labor Department investigation as "politically motivated" and designed to distract Mainers from the real issue: inconsistencies in the unemployment compensation system.
The governor said the blue ribbon commission he's creating by executive order will include representatives of employees and employers. He says its mission is to ensure that the state's unemployment system "provides benefits for workers who are rightly entitled to them."