Federal regulators say Maine Gov. Paul LePage can't cut funding for local workforce boards that fail to direct as much money to job training as he would like.
The Associated Press made a records request and obtained a June 26, 2018, letter that says LePage can get federal approval for his plan only if he removes the penalties.
A federal official says Maine could instead take away a workforce board's certification.
The governor's administration proposed cutting a workforce board's funding by 10 percent if it fails to spend at least 70 percent on job training.
The LePage administration says it addressed federal regulators' concerns and has received full approval for its plan.
Federal law limits state workforce boards from spending over 10 percent of funds on administrative costs.