AUGUSTA — The Latest on veto overrides by the Legislature:

UPDATED 4:39 p.m. (BDN): The Legislature has completed its work, at least as far as vetoes are concerned. The Senate took its vote on the final veto from Gov. Paul LePage at about 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Of the 33 vetoes considered Friday, 12 were sustained and one bill, LD 1481, was sent back to committee, where it will die later today when the Legislature adjourns sine die. That means the work of the 127th Legislature is done — unless a special session is called between now and the end of the year.

UPDATED 4:33 p.m. (BDN): A bill that would make a life-saving opioid overdose antidote more widely available will become law despite the objections of Gov. Paul LePage.

The House and Senate voted against LePage’s veto of LD 1547, which allows pharmacists to provide Naloxone Hydrochloride, also known as Narcan, to addicts’ families and friends without a doctor’s prescription. LePage said in his veto letter that Narcan doesn’t save lives, and only extends them until the next overdose, which has put the governor under intense pressure in recent days.

The House voted to override LePage’s veto 132-14 and the Senate overrode it 29-5. The bill becomes law in 90 days.

UPDATED 4:18 p.m. (BDN): A bill that would make it a felony for a high school teacher to have sex with a student — even if the student is 18 years old — will be law after the Legislature overrode LePage’s veto on Friday.

It was aimed at a situation in Waterville, where high school principal Don Reiter was accused of asking a student for sex and charged with misdemeanor oppression. He pleaded not guilty, but he wasn’t charged with attempted gross sexual assault because the student was 18 years old.

The veto override, sponsored by Sen. Scott Cyrway, R-Benton, passed34-1 in the Senate and 140-6 in the House.

UPDATED 3:15 p.m. (AP): Both chambers of the Legislature have overturned the veto of a bill that earmarks $2.4 million in emergency funding for jails.

The bipartisan bill was overwhelmingly approved in the House, and was approved in the Senate unanimously without a roll call. But it was vetoed by Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who said counties have no incentive to control jail costs when the state steps in to make up the difference.

That bill will now become law over LePage’s objections.

But a proposal to replenish the Clean Elections program is dead. The House failed to muster enough votes to override the veto of $500,000 for the fund.

UPDATED 1:45 p.m. (AP): The Maine House has voted overwhelmingly to override Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill to allow pharmacists to distribute a drug overdose antidote.

The House voted 132-14 in favor of the bill on Friday. It now goes to the Senate.

The governor opposed the proposal to allow pharmacists to fill prescriptions for Narcan, a lifesaving drug for people who’ve overdosed on narcotics.

The idea was to make it more widely available in light of Maine’s heroin epidemic. LePage said Narcan merely extends lives but doesn’t save them.

UPDATED 1:30 p.m. (AP): The Maine House has failed — twice — to override Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill to modernize state policies on solar power.

The House took the unusual step of holding a second vote Friday under a procedural rule after a lawmaker who wanted to change his vote requested it.

Lawmakers were passionate on the issue. Democratic Rep. Diane Russell of Portland, who supported the bill, called it a “make it or break it” moment for the solar industry. But Republican Dwayne Prescott of Waterboro said it’s unfair to make ratepayers who get no benefit pay for it.

The proposal picked up six additional votes with a tally of 90-53 but it was still short of a two-thirds majority needed to override the veto.

UPDATED 1 p.m. (AP): The Legislature has overridden Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a plan to boost pay for workers at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta and Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Hospital in Bangor.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Roger Katz, a Republican from Augusta, will increase wages by $2 to $4 an hour for mental health workers, nurses, psychologists and other direct care staff.

In vetoing the bill, LePage cited a survey indicating a wage increase was “either unnecessary or too high.” He also said negative publicity is a bigger barrier than wages to retaining workers.

UPDATED 11:45 a.m. (AP): The Maine House has failed to override Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill to modernize state policies on solar power.

Rep. Sara Gideon, assistant Democratic leader, said Friday the proposal would’ve spurred job creation. But Rep. Ken Fredette, House Republican leader, said he feared it would kill jobs by raising energy costs while helping only a small number of Mainers.

The proposal is dead after failing to muster a two-thirds vote.

The Legislature is off to a fast pace Friday as it deals with 33 vetoes by the governor.

Other vetoed bills include proposals to allow pharmacists to dispense a drug overdose antidote, add funding to the Clean Elections program, boost pay for workers at the Riverview Psychiatric Center, and provide additional funding for state jails.

UPDATED 12:30 a.m. (AP): The Legislature is returning to session to deal with 33 vetoes, including a bill to make a drug overdose antidote available to the public.

The sponsor of the proposal to make Narcan available via prescription believes she can muster the two-thirds vote Friday to override the governor’s veto.

Other vetoed bills include proposals to add funding to the Clean Elections program, boost pay for workers at the Riverview Psychiatric Center, modernize state policies on solar power, and provide additional funding for state jails.

Lawmakers also will consider a late proposal by Republican Gov. Paul LePage to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour. Some Democrats oppose the bill, saying it’s an attempt to undermine a referendum to lift the minimum wage to $12.

Information from The Associated Press and Bangor Daily News was used in this report.


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