- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A leaked memo from Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s top adviser suggests the governor wants to cut as many as 1,700 state jobs in his next budget proposal.

The Portland Press Herald reports (https://bit.ly/2ajglNJ ) that a LePage spokesman confirmed the memo but said it was a work in progress.

Unions would likely challenge the idea if included in LePage’s two-year proposal due in January.

The memo also says LePage wants to reduce state spending and institute a top income tax rate of 5.75, down from 7.15 percent.

Legislators rejected the governor’s 2015 proposal to institute such a tax cut and make up for lost revenue by expanding the sales tax and increasing it from 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent. Lawmakers agreed to reduce the top income tax rate to 7.15 percent.

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