Measure will bring pay in line with salaries raised by lawmakers last year
A measure from Rep. Catherine Nadeau to provide wage parity among state law enforcement is necessary to recruit and retain talent, law enforcement officers told a legislative panel March 31, 2017
“Last session, we passed into law a measure that provided certain law enforcement with pay raises necessary for successful recruitment and retention,” said Nadeau, D-Winslow. “That was an important first step. Let’s finish the job and pay the men and women included in this measure a fair, appropriate salary for the work they do to keep our communities safe.”
Maine Rangers deserve a pay raise that would create parity for law enforcement, they patrol the state's vast forestlands and seaside.
Lawmakers voted last year to provide some state law enforcement officers with pay raises necessary for successful recruitment and retention. Nadeau’s bill would provide similar increases to law enforcement officers who were not included in the previous measure, including forest rangers, investigators with several state agencies and probation officers.
Lincoln Mazzei, a forest ranger pilot with the Maine Forest Service, told the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee that the agency has struggled to attract and retain qualified pilots during his decade as a forest ranger. The relatively low pay, he said, is part of the reason would-be rangers look for work elsewhere.
“This job is important,” Mazzei testified. “I realize I could leave and find better compensation elsewhere, but I don’t want to leave. This is my home, my children’s home and I know that the work I do makes a difference.”
The committee is scheduled to hold a work session on the measure, LD 861, April, 7, 2017. At that time, committee members will have the opportunity to offer amendments and make a recommendation to the full Legislature.
Nadeau is serving her third term in the Maine House. She represents Winslow and part of Benton. She is a member of both the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee.