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FILE- In this May 2, 2017, file photo, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, left, testifies during a House Natural Resources subcommittee oversight hearing on Antiquities Act on Capitol Hill in Washington. LePage is looking into commuting the sentences of female inmates as part of an effort to alleviate a shortage of workers as the tourism season starts. He said in a radio call-in show Tuesday, May 30, 2017 he's also asking the federal government for help securing foreign workers to fill jobs in hotels and restaurants.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
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Governor considers releasing female inmates for tourism jobs

FILE- In this May 2, 2017, file photo, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, left, testifies during a House Natural Resources subcommittee oversight hearing on Antiquities Act on Capitol Hill in Washington. LePage is looking into commuting the sentences of female inmates as part of an effort to alleviate a shortage of workers as the tourism season starts. He said in a radio call-in show Tuesday, May 30, 2017 he's also asking the federal government for help securing foreign workers to fill jobs in hotels and restaurants. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s Republican governor is looking into commuting the sentences of female inmates as part of an effort to alleviate a shortage of workers as the tourism season starts.

Gov. Paul LePage said in a radio call-in show Tuesday he’s also asking the federal government for help securing foreign workers to fill jobs in hotels and restaurants. Maine’s tourism industry is having a difficult time finding workers during record low unemployment in the state, known for its lighthouses, lobster shacks and beaches.

LePage’s call follows a move by his administration to release 17 male prisoners Friday. LePage said the action would allow inmates to get jobs and wouldn’t threaten public safety because he won’t release sex offenders or abusers. He said it was unrelated to his proposal to close Downeast Correctional Facility and transfer or release 100 inmates.

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