Maine Governor Says Ballot Referendums Are Just ‘Recommendations’
Gov. Paul LePage has a history of interpreting the state’s constitution in ways that are later discredited, but that didn’t stop him from lobbing more dubious claims this week.
In an interview Tuesday on WVOM-FM, a Bangor radio station, LePage claimed the Maine Constitution says approved ballot referendums are just “recommendations” that “the Legislature doesn’t even have to enact.”
Experts on the Maine Constitution say LePage’s interpretation is incorrect.
“That isn’t what the constitution says,” said Portland attorney Marshall Tinkle, author of the history book “The Maine State Constitution.”
Tinkle said it wouldn’t be unconstitutional to “immediately repeal something” passed by voters, but that seems “contrary to the spirit and intent of the constitution.”
LePage’s office didn’t directly respond to experts’ conclusions, saying only that Republican and Democratic legislators are concerned over the consequences and costs of the narrowly passed marijuana initiative.