LePage vetoes tanning bed ban for minors

AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill Thursday that would prohibit teens younger than age 18 from using tanning beds. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Geoffrey Gratwick, D-Bangor, a physician, pitted Democrats who portrayed it as good public health policy against Republicans who argued that it robbed parents of their rights to make decisions about their children’s lives.

LePage informed legislators Thursday morning that he has vetoed LD 272, An Act to Reduce Youth Cancer Risk.

“This bill does one thing: it tells Maine parents that Augusta knows better than they do when it comes to their children,” LePage wrote. “Instead of the current law that requires parents to give permission to their children tanning, this says that children are banned from it, regardless of what the parent thinks. This is government run amok. Maine parents can make the right decisions for their families.”

This is LePage’s second veto of this legislative session. On Tuesday. he vetoed a bill that would have revised payment systems for registers of deeds. The House voted Wednesday to override that bill, LD 49, but the Senate failed by one vote to muster the two-thirds majority required for an override.

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Considering how responsible his own parents were, you would think he would be the last person to say parents should, could or even would handle this responsibility. Perhaps we should go back, or perhaps backwards, and let children buy cigarettes, liquor, drive cars and work in sweatshops. And maybe government should stop making them go to school and get an education. Then life would be as it should be. Hillbilly heaven.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Considering how responsible

"Considering how responsible his own parents were"....
That's a pretty unfair and nasty comment, Claire. If I or any other conservative had made a comment like that about oBAMa or a muslim, you'd be all over us like a wet suit. Unfortunately, children don't get to choose their parents.



The governor has spoken often of his upbringing and the abuse and neglect he suffered. I was only referring to the comments he made. I don't know his parents. I should have stated it as "Considering how responsible the governor claims his parents were".

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Understood. The governor gets

The governor gets to speak about the misgivings of his parents; that's his birthright. The rest of us do not.
My father had six brothers, one of whom was an alcoholic. He was often the focus of conversation among the six others. However, if someone not of the family spoke of him in derogatory terms, they were quickly re-directed, sometimes in a nonverbal manner. Some lines are not meant to be crossed.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Funny how governments that

Funny how governments that can't control spending or balance budgets are always trying to save us from ourselves, and even funnier when you see just how many people think it is a government's duty to do most of our decision making.


Consider this

When some 13 year old is diagnosed with melanoma ten years down the road because she wanted to look beautiful, who pays for her care? If she's insured, everyone else with insurance will, if she's not insured the taxpayers will.

This child will see herself as immortal - all kids do - so her choice will not be made using fact - just impulse or to be part of the crowd. Not all make good decisions either - here kid, here's $20, don't bother me while I'm watching tv.

Let's assume the Republicans and Lepage are correct. Should Maine rescind limitations on liquor, cigarettes, marriage, sex, driving? Hey let the parents decide.

Jason Theriault's picture


Would you say LePage has been trying to do most our decision making? Because He has been in for 2 years, and would you say our spending is under control?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

More than it was under

More than it was under Baldacci.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Jason, Maine has been

Jason, Maine has been spending more than it takes in for far more than the Lepage years, and using gimmicks and stimulus money and whatever to balance the books. A fine example of this is the just passed doubling of the earned income tax credit, which means we will be giving people back twice as much money they did not pay in toward income taxes as before. Nice gesture , but again, it is money we do not have. If Lepage vetoes this bill, you will likely call him an idiot, yet you blame him for not controlling spending.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Great point, Gary.

Great point, Gary.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Thanks Paul.

Thanks Paul.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Go for it Paul.........

Just keep racking up those "Brownie" points. Lets see if we can't veto a few more common sense laws before the end of the session.................

Jason Theriault's picture

LePage is an idiot

Does LePage think kids should smoke? Because it is almost the same thing. Tanning causes cancer just like smoking. I wonder if LePage would signal his support for parents who want to let their kids smoke?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Smoking and tanning are

Smoking and tanning are almost the same thing? I wasn't aware that tanning would put nicotine stains on your teeth and between your fingers. Or, that it would give you shortness of breath and, in the long term barbecue your lungs.Or, that it would allow people to smell you from six feet away, and make most of your clothes smell like a pool room. Astounding, the things I didn't know about tanning.
Smoking lamp is lit; smoke 'em if you got 'em, Mates.

Bob Berry's picture

Cancer sucks

I feel very sorry and my heart goes out to anyone who has to deal with skin cancer. I have a family member who has it and is constantly battling it (not tanning bed related).

However, this is a parental issue. The State should stay out of it.

And voting vs tanning is not a valid comparison for the other reason. Anyone who thinks that a state restriction on teen tanning is a more critical issue than voting has a poor understanding of our country's history and underestimates what can happen to a democracy when voting is devalued. You may not vote to kill someone, but voting controls government which controls our future. Bad government can ultimately lead to economic, cultural, and societal collapse. How many people will die then? Don't tell me that teen tanning is more important than voting. I won't buy it, and it's a slap in the face to every American who has given the ultimate sacrifice.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I agree that skin cancer

I agree that skin cancer sucks, Bob. Been dealing with it for the past 15 years. Every year we hack away a piece here and a piece there, but fortunately, it remains manageable. Never been in a tanning booth in my life.

AL PELLETIER's picture

"Voting controls government"?

Perhaps in other states, Bob, but not in Maine. What has happened to the bond issues we voted for in the last referendum? Lepage simply said our votes are worthless and it's what he wants that matters.
Our law makers presented Lepage a bi-partisan common sense law and he vetoes it siting it's up to the parents. There are some parents out there who are so stupid they would allow their 12 year old to purchase cigarettes and booze. Lepage himself talks about growing up on the streets of Lewiston with no parental supervision. Back then we could buy cigarettes at any age,( I know because I did). Laws were enacted to stop idiots, like myself who didn't any know better, from hurting themselves.
Hey did you notice the first thing Lepage did when he got back from Jamaica? He pissed a whole bunch of Maine Native Americans who simply want to have control of eel fishing permits in their rivers. WAY TO GO LERAGE!
Idea!!! If he runs for a second term his platform should be, It's My Way Or The Highway and the rest of you can kiss my butt.

AL PELLETIER's picture


"know any better"


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