August 22, 2019

Governor LePage Signs Bill to Increase Wages for Game Wardens

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Press Release from the State of Maine:

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today signed a bill into law bringing Maine law enforcement wages in the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Department of Marine Resources more in line with other New England states.

LD 1653, “An Act Implementing Pay Increases for Certain Law Enforcement Employees to Aid in Recruitment and Retention,” sponsored by Republican House Leader, Kenneth Fredette (R-Newport), provides for the upward adjustment of salary schedules in fiscal year 2015-16 by 12 percent to 18 percent for certain law enforcement positions in the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Department of Marine Resources.

“Law enforcement officers across Maine put their lives on the line every day to protect the Maine people, and the value of their public service ought to be reflected in a decent salary,” said Governor LePage. “To make the job even more difficult, wages throughout state law enforcement positions are not comparable to local law enforcement agencies or other departments in New England.”

Recruitment in law enforcement positions within State government remains a challenge. For example, the Department of Public Safety has a total of 324 Maine State Police positions with 32 now vacant. An additional 25 members of the Maine State Police are eligible for retirement this year.

According to the Department of Public Safety, there has been a dramatic decrease in applicants for the State Police and only 11 successful applicants in 2015. Troopers in other New England states average $6 to $14 more per hour compared to Maine. The State is also competing with local police agencies that pay higher salaries than the Maine State Police.

Maine’s commercial fisheries and hunting and fishing are highly dependent on the work carried out by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department of Marine Resources, and the bill adjusts wage parity issues accordingly for law enforcement positions within these agencies, as well.

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