Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration has ordered a hiring freeze throughout the executive branch.

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Mary Anne Turowski of the Maine State Employees Association shared a July 8 memorandum saying vacancies would only be filled if approved by LePage himself.

LePage couldn't immediately be reached for comment. The Portland Press Herald last week reported LePage wants to reduce the executive branch workforce to 9,500 ahead of his budget proposal due January.

Turowski said hiring freezes worsen "already short staffing" in hospitals and corrections. She said politics, not the economy, motivated LePage.

LePage issued a June executive order for a Department of Health and Human Services hiring freeze.

Republican Sen. David Burns, of Washington, on Monday stated that Calais DHHS employees were told Friday that their jobs were being relocated to Machias.