AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — An effort to continue providing tens of millions of dollars in state tax breaks to a Navy shipbuilder is now law.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage this week signed into law the bill designed to extend a tax credit to Bath Iron Works.

The shipyard will receive $45 million in non-refundable tax credits over 15 years, down from $60 million over 20 years as originally proposed.

The shipyard has to report new hires, median salaries, purchases from Maine businesses, and certain investments. Lawmakers can evaluate the credits by 2024.

The shipyard, which employs 5,500 workers, says it wants to stay competitive with a Mississippi shipyard as it bids for up to 20 frigates to supplement its contracts for larger destroyers.

Bill opponent Democratic Sen. Justin Chenette deemed it corporate welfare.