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Fact-checking Maine's candidates for governor

Maine Democrats released a video fact-checking gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage. We independently verified these claims.

MAINE, USA — Maine Democrats are calling out Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage in a new video. The two-and-a-half-minute video shows LePage making claims that Maine Dems say are not true.

NEWS CENTER Maine decided to verify these claims independently. 

Sources: Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, the Maine Department of Education, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Wallethub.

Claim: LePage met the 55 percent public education funding goal required by state law. 

Eighteen years ago, Mainers voted to pass a referendum question to mandate the state to pay 55 percent of public education funding.

Maine DAFS records show in LePage's eight years as governor, the closest he got to this number was 53.3 percent, including pensions and health insurance.

Gov. Janet Mills is the first governor to fund 55 percent of public education, not including the funding for pensions and health insurance.

Claim: LePage says Mills raised taxes during her time as governor.

During the Mills administration, Maine has not raised either property, sales, or income taxes. 

Claim: LePage says Maine ranks last in economic recovery during the pandemic.

"Maine's economy's recovery after the pandemic was dead last in the United States," LePage said at the Maine GOP convention.

NEWS CENTER Maine asked LePage's team where this statistic came from. 

The team pointed to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It said Maine's unemployment rate went from 5.4 percent in 2020 to 4.6 percent in 2021. That's a rise of 15 percent, the smallest unemployment improvement in the nation.

By that measure, LePage is correct. Maine is tied with Maryland for the smallest unemployment improvement in that time. 

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