Gov. Paul LePage is backing away from a plan to establish a business advisory council whose activities would be exempt from the state's Freedom of Access Act, citing the opposition surrounding the proposal.
Adrienne Bennett, LePage's spokeswoman, told the Bangor Daily News that he has scrapped plans for the council, as well as others for education and the environment, to block potential members from controversy. Earlier this month, LePage signed an executive order creating the council, saying it would be exempt from state laws that allow public access to meetings and records in order to allow for a free exchange of ideas on ways to improve the state's economic climate. Some groups, however, including the Maine Civil Liberties Union and the Maine Heritage Policy Center, argued it restricts government transparency.
Bennett said LePage will not rescind the order, but put it on hold.