Statement from Senate Republican Leaders on Senator Jackson’s Threat to BIW

Sen. Dana Dow and Sen. Jeff Timberlake

On December 20, 2019, Senate President Jackson and House Speaker Gideon sent a letter to Bath Iron Works, Maine’s fourth largest employer, threatening to “reconsider” a tax credit worth tens of millions of dollars annually because they claimed that BIW had not hired enough local workers and paid their current workers a high enough wage.

This letter was sent without the knowledge or consent of either body of the legislature.

In the online edition of the Bangor Daily News, an article reveals that at the time he wrote the letter, Senator Jackson was a well-paid employee of the same union that represents workers at BIW. He then wrote and sent the letter on behalf of his employer in his capacity as Senate President.

These actions by the Senate President are very concerning and create at least the appearance of improper conduct. At this time, Senate Republican Leaders are gathering the facts and looking into the situation. Once we have learned all that we can about the actions of the Senate President, we will have more to say on the matter.

Bath Iron Works employs thousands of Mainers at an average salary that is 25% higher than the statewide average. Rather than threatening them based on unfounded claims, state government should be holding BIW up as an example of something that we need more of in Maine.

Sen. Dana Dow is the Republican Leader in the Maine State Senate and Sen. Jeff Timberlake is the Assistant Republican Leader in the Maine State Senate.

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