LePage signs St. Paddy's Day drinking bill

Office of the Governor

Gov. Paul LePage signs an emergency bill into law Friday that will allow bars to serve alcohol starting at 6 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day when it falls on a Sunday. LePage said he signed the bill as a goodwill gesture and in support of the state's bars and restaurants.

AUGUSTA — Wearing a leprechaun party hat and smiling broadly, Maine Gov. Paul LePage signed a law Friday that allows the state's bars to serve alcohol starting at 6 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day, when it falls on a Sunday.

Otherwise, Maine law prohibits the sale of alcohol before 9 a.m. on Sunday.

The law passed by the Legislature on Thursday, under an emergency preamble, had been a source of controversy and was criticized by LePage and other Republicans because it was moving faster than bills that would pay off the state's $484 million debt to hospitals.

The Maine House passed the alcohol bill on a vote of 105-32. The Senate passed it 29-5. To pass as emergency legislation, which allows the law to take effect immediately, the bill needed support from two-thirds of the Legislature.

LePage, who had previously vowed to veto all bills that came to him before a plan for the hospital debt was agreed upon, said Thursday that signing the early-drinking bill was a goodwill gesture toward Democrats and in support of the state's bars and restaurants, some of which claimed St. Patrick's Day was their most profitable holiday.

Rep. Barry Hobbins, D-Saco, the bill's sponsor, said he had assurances from LePage that he would allow the bill to become law in time for St. Patrick's Day this Sunday.

"He told me he was going to give St. Patrick a pardon," Hobbins quipped Thursday, just after the Senate passed the bill.

House Minority Leader Kenneth Fredette, R-Newport, said that while lawmakers had not settled on how to pay the hospital debt, Republicans and Democrats were closer to an agreement.

“The agreement that Republicans and Democrats reached Monday, that the hospitals should indeed be paid, made this bill much more palatable to us and to the governor, I’m sure,” Fredette said in a written statement.

sthistle@sunjournal.com

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Comments

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Emergency action

Paul, you better hurry and get over to the Blue Goose, or the The Cage, for last call, they really miss your sloshing green beer all over the place.

I use to enjoy watching you make a fool of yourself serving you your beer at the Cage, except you are just a few months early for Halloween.

At least at the old Lou's place they had the peanut bin trough you could always fall into to keep you up from hitting the sticky floor....

Jerry

Robert Pomerleau's picture

Drunk on the Road at 6 AM

I'm glad I didn't vote for the Gov and I'll be glad when he is out of office he is a joke in this office We don't need drunk on the road at 6AM in the morning and the they might get into an accident and the raise the hospital bill again

Wilma Turcotte's picture

Apparently nothing sacred any

Apparently nothing sacred any more or with all the things in this state that need fixing I can't believe that this is getting top priority. Shows where the ones running this states priorities lie.They can get out bright and earlier and drink up there money and then go to the soup kitchen and get their lunch for free while they text on their free phones. Everything seems to be done for the minoriaty here in the last few years and this ls just another example. With all the problems facing this state this should be at the bottom of the pile.The priorities in this state and country certainly leave alot to be desired,

Jacqueline Libby DeLasso's picture

Bar Bill

I could not agree more Miss Wilma, and no I am not against partying or celebrating but not at 0600
and knowing full well nothing good is going to come of this.
I do strongly believe the "emergency" is only on his behalf...not for folks with common
decency and respect for everyone else! Does he not know how ridiculous he looks with his silly
hat on...does it have a "D" on it somewhere? Or does he just not care that he is an embarrassment
to our state!

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Out of touch

Hey Paul, Why don't you help educate senior citizens in Maine like in Alfred and York county. I know education for Repubs is difficult to prompt for senior citizens, taxpayers about lottery scams unlike Scott Pelley that just did on CBS?

Maybe those folks could spend those revenues in the state or better yet help to maintain their life savings for retirement? Now there is a real service you could provide instead of the 3 extra hours for profits and drunks.

Enjoy your green beer and choke on it....
Jerry

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Deja Vu

Paul has that same smile on his face when he would be coming out of the Jolly at the Holly strip joint, high as a kite...., Pauline would be just turning in her grave on this one....

KRIS KUCERA's picture

As half Keough, I defer to . . .

. . . H.L. Mencken -- "Puritanism: The haunting fear that somebody, somewhere might be happy."

Boy, what a bunch of fuddy-dutties here. Save your outrage for something serious, like the new Pope having been complicit at minimum, and culpable at worst, during Argentina's "Dirty War" from '76-'83. (Or the Magdalene laundries, your choice.)

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/03/pope-francis-jorge...

A toast to St. Patrick,
the holy and tutelar man.
His beard down his bosom like Aaron's ran.
Some from Scotland, some from Wales,
will declare that's from where he came,
But I care not, now he's risen to fame.
The pride of the world and his enemies scorning,
I will drink to St Patrick, today, in the morning!

Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!

Puritanism???

This has nothing to do with puritanism, but the hypocrisy of the governor...what part did you miss on these comments...first of all we are all entitled to make comments on these stories and the fact that he was not going to sign any bill but picked the one that involves drinking shows us what kind of a person he is...you are free to drink to your hearts content and I'm sure anyone that knows you would probably agree you may have a problem too!!!! oh ya....the poem sucks

KRIS KUCERA's picture

How 'bout Winston Churchill?

Lady Astor: "Sir, if you were my husband, I would poison your drink."

Churchill: "Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it."

Jacqueline Libby DeLasso's picture

St. Paddy's Day drinking bill

Absolutely ridiculous!!!!!!!!!, What is this state coming to? We have elderly, suffering, freezing, starving, and homeless, we have vets being treated like they don't matter, we have adults and children with disabilities fighting to keep their programs open and funded......soooooooo, I guess all of these things are obviously not as important as signing in an outrageous bill to open damn
bars at 0600 on St Patrick's Day????????? Apparently we longer have priorities, well only when they behoove our wonderful state of Maine government!
Seriously????? Well, I guess that gives free rein for people who may not
be responsible adults to go drink early in the morning party like hell...oh wait....wonder what the Religious folks are gonna say about this? I know they have their wine on Sunday during what ever their service of the day curtails, will this not offend them?
The pompous jack wagon strikes again...I am so bloody glad I never
voted for him bit I can honestly say this gives me one more reason to be
embarrassed by our government and the intelligence of these decisions. Just saying...and I like many others are entitled to my opinion!

Andrew Jones's picture

Don't blame him for it; blame

Don't blame him for it; blame the legislature that will push this through as an emergency measure but won't do anything that matters. All he does is sign it into law.

RONALD RIML's picture

Andrew Jones.....

He could wait for a 'Real' Law.

Andrew Jones's picture

Yeah, a complete repeal of

Yeah, a complete repeal of all blue laws would have been worthy. :)

Andrew???? Really???

He wasn't going to sign anything, but this shows where his head is at..most times in a drunken stupor...of all the bills he could have signed he picks this one...it really doesn't surprise me that the one that involves drinking is the one he signs cause he can start his day as drunk as he finishes it I'm sure...and for all the people that are alcoholics, don't bother to defend this and expect a reaction from this post...I don't check back to see who I offend when I post a comment...get as mad as you want but this governor is a total waste of our oxygen..so Andrew, don't forget the fact that he wasn't going to sign any bill, or did that slip your mind???? his priorities are on drinking and if someone can 't wait till 9AM on St. Pattys day to have a drink, maybe they should get help...just saying..

Andrew Jones's picture

No, Linda; I remember the

No, Linda; I remember the governor claiming that he will veto all bills until his budget gets approved. The signing of this bill could signal that his threat to veto was just a bluff. Or, more likely; this is a stupid bill that is being signed solely to make the owners of drinking establishments and their patrons happy. This only affects one Sunday out of the year and only when St. Patrick's Day falls on it. Excluding this year, it will affect a grand total of 10 days in the next century!

So; a silly bill that costs the state nothing, makes the citizenry that celebrates this holiday very happy, makes for great press coverage, and cheeses off the liberals? Sounds like a win-win-win-win to me.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

The buck stops

At the governors pen....

Andrew Jones's picture

No, the buck stops with the

No, the buck stops with the people. The majority put him there. We also put all the members of the legislature in their seats too. Their inability to get anything meaningful done is on us. Vote wisely.

Jacqueline Libby DeLasso's picture

sunday bar open

When it comes down to it Andrew..they are all in the same basket.....and still can not figure
how this constitutes as an emergency? Can you? Not getting into a piddling contest with you just wondering.

Andrew Jones's picture

No argument there; this is

No argument there; this is clearly not 'emergency legislature' material.

Jason Theriault's picture

WHY!?!

So, your telling me, that people have a problem with not drinking alcohol between 6 am and 9 am? Really? This get's bipartisan support?

People wonder why we have jobs issues here, well, here it is - we need to tie one on at 6am.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I never had a problem with this.....

I used to enjoy going out for a nice cold one or even a few games of pool before 7:00am, Problem was there weren't that many places open. A bunch of us used to get together every Tuesday morning for beer and pool. Hell we had the place to ourselves. One morning about fifteen or twenty years ago, I was sitting home having a beer, it was about six thirty in the morning, all these people started running thru my yard. I just was kind of curious until I noticed a "Hot Air Balloon" landing about ten feet from my back porch. The pilot broke out this huge bottle of Champagne, and we just sort of continued my little party.
A lot of people don't seem to realize, there's a whole other universe out there before the sun comes up. Ya, I used to really enjoy that ice cold beer at 6am, especially after a fifteen hour shift that ended at 5am......

Jacqueline Libby DeLasso's picture

St. Paddy's Day drinking bill

Lmao! Mr Earley, sure is nothing wrong with the cold one after a long shift, I do hear you there, but did you need to have a
bill passed as an "emergency" in order to do so? Did it really bother you not to have a pub to go to?
Myself if I am going to want a cold one i would rather share it with my friends at my house, if they
were on the same shift! So yes I see what you mean as well there is another world out there.
But there is our real world..then there is "his" ridiculous pompous world!

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I DON'T NEED NO STINKIN BILL.......

Hell for thirty years or so I managed quite nicely with out our good Governor"s approval. To be honest, I really hadn't even noticed this particular bill. You could say, "it escaped me". I do remember when I was driving buses in Massachusetts. I drove school buses as well as charter buses. One year I had the esteemed pleasure of picking up the MDC, Police Departments contingent of the "Emerald Society", and hauling them to the St Paddy's Day Parade. I was their designated driver. I picked them up (literally), at about 5:00am, I'll bet their wasn't a single one who would have registered less than a 2.0 on the rictor scale. That little sign on my top step took on a whole new meaning "Watch Your Step", because every one of them who tripped on the top step landed in my lap. By the end of the day I think I got a contact drunk. It was fun though. If I were still a drinking man, I'd probably be towards the bottom of the bottle by now. Then again thinking like an Irishman, I would be near the top of the next one.... Happy St. Patrick's Day......

Jacqueline Libby DeLasso's picture

bar bill

Lmao! Well said my friend! Have a wonderful St Patrick's Day!

Bob Woodbury's picture

Anyone remember...

...what the governor called this bill last week? I wonder if he will be spending more money for extra state police between 6-9 am Sunday morning. Great chance to issue drunk driving tickets and increase revenue.

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