Maine Senate fails to override LePage veto

AUGUSTA — A majority of lawmakers Wednesday voted in favor of overriding Gov. Paul LePage’s first veto of the legislative session, but the veto will stand after senators fell one vote short of overriding it.

The House voted 136-6 to override LePage’s veto of LD 49, a measure that would require government agencies and businesses comply with payment agreements they have set up with county registries of deeds.

Later Wednesday, however, senators voted 23-12 to override the veto, falling one vote short of the two-thirds needed.

Democrats on Tuesday expressed outrage that LePage would veto a bill they described as a “housekeeping” measure. The bill passed the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee and both chambers of the Legislature without objection.

House Republican Leader Kenneth Fredette of Newport said his vote to override the governor’s veto was a statement of support for the legislative committee’s work. However, he encouraged his House colleagues to collaborate with the executive branch.

“There will be many tough decisions ahead on many tough issues, and we will have to work and communicate with each other and the chief executive, working to get the important work done for the people of the state of Maine,” he said on the House floor.

In his veto letter, LePage said he objected to signing a bill meant to “clarify how government takes money from its citizens” when the Legislature has yet to act on more pressing matters.

“Those elected to office need to step back and address the real problems facing Maine,” LePage wrote. “This is why the Maine people elected us and why I have vetoed this bill today.”

LePage at the beginning of March threatened to veto all measures that arrived on his desk before lawmakers signed off on his plan to pay off Maine’s $484 million hospital debt using proceeds from a renegotiated state wholesale liquor contract.

He hasn’t followed through on that threat, signing a handful of measures into law and letting others become law without his signature.

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DONALD FERLAND's picture

He vetoes housekeeping

He vetoes housekeeping BIPARTISAN bills that keep the state paying its bills to communities and yet he signed a bill allowing alcohol sales at 6 am on St. Patrick's Day because it fell on a Sunday. Yup that's the way to set priorities. Let the drunks have more time to get drunk and make communities wait for their money. Way to go Governor. This makes one wonder if the Governor has a hand in the pot of the alcohol sales in this state. His focus is on all things surrounding the sale of alcohol in this state.

While I understand the need to pay the hospitals, we have other bills that need to be paid as well and for him to veto one that had BIPARTISAN support is just plain old stupidity. This governor reminds me of my son when he was 2 years old....let's just throw a temper tantrum when I don't get my own way. Grow up governor you are suppose to be an adult.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

When is enough, enough?????

I feel it's time the people of Maine demand that our Governor start acting his age. This supposedly grown man, acting like a twelve year old,schoolyard bully has gone on long enough.
When his obvious immaturity starts to affect the day to day operation of our State, he's going to far. Becoming Governor is not a ticket to grandstand in favor of his own agenda, what ever that may be. We are paying him to do a job. That job is to serve the people of Maine to the best of his ability. I don't seem to remember the part in the Governor's oath of office that refers to holding the people of Maine hostage. When I moved to Maine, I wasn't planning on becoming a pawn in the fantasies of a lunatic. It's time for him to give up this stupid vendetta of his, and start doing the job he's paid to do, and stop creating such a terrible image of our State to the rest of the country.....

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