Also on this page: Legislators busy overturning vetoes

AUGUSTA — The Legislature on Monday overturned a veto of a bill to create a task force to examine the safety and possible regulations for farm amusement rides, such as the haunted hayride that claimed the life of an Oakland teen last fall.

The House voted 146-0 to overturn by Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto, while the Senate voted 29-6 to overturn.

The bill, LD 1057, was a response to the death of Cassidy Charette, 17, who was killed when a Jeep pulling a wagon full of people went out of control and crashed in the woods at Harvest Hill Farms in Mechanic Falls on Oct. 11, 2014.

Investigators pointed toward mechanical problems with the late-model Jeep and experts questioned whether it was hauling too heavy a load.

Another 22 people were injured in the mishap, which is under review by an Androscoggin County grand jury to determine if the operators of the hayride committed a crime.

LePage vetoed the bill, sponsored by Rep. Robert Nutting, R-Oakland, saying the measure would divert state resources that would be better spent fighting illegal drugs in Maine.

“I have tried to explain to members of the Legislature that resolves that mandate (the Department of Public Safety) complete reports often harm the public safety of the state of Maine,” LePage wrote. “If this bill becomes law, resources that could be used to address the most pressing public safety concerns facing our state will instead be used to address a public safety concern that is plainly not as serious as the use of illegal drugs destroying the lives of thousands of Maine citizens.”

Under the bill, the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Department of Public Safety are directed to form a group of stakeholders to determine how and if Maine should regulate amusement rides offered at farms around the state.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for inspecting the safety of rides such as those operated at fairs, carnivals and amusement parks. 

But, during testimony on the bill, State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said his investigators had no experience in inspecting farm vehicles or hayrides for safety concerns. 

The task force, which will include representatives from the Maine Farm Bureau and the state’s campground association, is expected to offer recommendations for ensuring the safety of those who pay to take a ride at a farm. That report is due back to the Legislature in February 2016.

Lawmakers will then decide whether they need to put in place a process to permit and inspect amusement rides offered at farms.

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Legislators busy overturning vetoes

AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine’s Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has overturned 12 vetoes issued by Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

The House voted 143-4 to keep alive a bill that seeks to expand access to medicine that counteracts allergic reactions. Democratic Rep. Matt Peterson’s bill would allow places like summer camps and day care facilities to be prescribed and administer injections of epinephrine.

The House overrode LePage’s veto of 11 other bills on Monday. Five vetoed bills were sustained and are now dead.

The Republican-controlled Senate overturned LePage’s veto of four bills, including one that would allow non-residents attending college in Maine to get hunting and fishing licenses at the cost of a resident’s license.

The Senate sustained one LePage veto of a bill regarding campaign finance laws.

Monday morning overrides

  • LD 255, “An Act To Preserve the Integrity of Maine’s Shellfish Industry by Increasing the Penalty for Interfering with Permitted Harvest” Sponsored by Senator Stan Gerzofsky, D-Brunswick (House overrides 116-23. Senate overrode 35-0  last week)
  • LD 247  “An Act To Create Corridor Districts for the Purpose of Funding Transportation and Transit Services” Sponsored by Representative Benjamin Chipman, U-Portland (House sustains 80-63)
  • LD 359 “An Act To Assist Persons with Breast Cancer” Sponsored by Representative Thomas Longstaff, D-Waterville (House overrides 145-0)
  • LD 401 “An Act To Create Transparency in the Mortgage Foreclosure Process” Sponsored by Representative Roberta Beavers, D-South Berwick (House overrides 146-0)
  • LD 574 “An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Membership of the Maine Commission on Domestic and Sexual Abuse” Sponsored by Representative Matthew Dana, Passamaquoddy representative (House sustains 88-58)
  • LD 757 “An Act To Limit the Amount That May Be Retained on Construction Contracts” Sponsored by Representative Denise Tepler, D-Topsham (House sustains 79-68)
  • LD 895 “Resolve, To Establish the Advisory Committee on Real Estate License Law” (Emergency) Sponsored by Representative Matthew Pouliot, R-Augusta (House overrides 127-20)
  • LD 1028 “An Act To Clarify Laws Concerning the Registration of Professional Engineers” Sponsored by Representative Margaret Rotundo, D-Lewiston (House overrides 126-21)
  • LD 1029 “An Act To Improve Maine’s Juvenile Justice System” Sponsored by Representative Mark Dion, D-Portland (House sustains 92-55)
  • LD 1057 “An Act To Increase the Safety of Amusement Rides” (Emergency) Sponsored by Representative Robert Nutting, R-Oakland (House overrides 146-0)
  • LD 1125 “An Act To Expand Public Access to Epinephrine Autoinjectors” Sponsored by Representative Matthew Peterson, D-Rumford (House 143-4)
  • LD 1147 “An Act To Clarify the Mortgage Foreclosure Sale Process” Sponsored by Representative Janice Cooper, D-Yarmouth (House sustains 84-62)
  • LD 1179 “An Act To Prohibit Certain Payments with Respect to an Adoption” Sponsored by Representative Joyce Maker, R-Calais (House overrides 146-1)
  • LD 1256 “An Act To Improve the Safety and Survival of 9-1-1 Callers and First Responders” Sponsored by Representative Roberta Beavers, D-South Berwick (House overrides 130-17)
  • LD 1310 “An Act To Amend the Community-based Renewable Energy Program” Sponsored by Representative Jennifer DeChant, D-Bath (House overrides 107-40)
  • LD 1335 “An Act To Amend the Election Laws” Sponsored by Representative Louis Luchini, D-Ellsworth (House overrides 119-27)
  • LD 1442 “An Act To Establish a Bag Limit for Brook Trout on Portions of Webster Stream in Piscataquis County” (Emergency) Introducer: Representative SHAW of Standish, D-Standish (House overrides 135-12)


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