Maine Legislature Overrides 9/10 of Governor's Spite Vetoes
By Christopher Cousins
Nine of 10 Democratic-sponsored bills vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage triggered lopsided rebukes of the governor in both the House and Senate.
LePage issued the flurry of vetoes on Monday, following through on a threat to veto every bill sponsored by Democrats until the Legislature approved his proposed legislation to amend Maine's Constitution to allow voters to decide whether to repeal the state's income tax.
"As promised, I am vetoing all bills sponsored by Democrats because they have stifled the voice of Maine citizens by preventing them from voting on the elimination of the income tax," LePage said in veto letters for each piece of legislation.
Legislators began work on those vetoes Tuesday. On all but one, more than the required two-thirds of lawmakers in each chamber voted to override the vetoes.
Both chambers on Wednesday finished their votes on the vetoes. The results were the following:
-- The veto of LD 935, An Act Regarding Alcohol Manufacturing Licenses Issued to Research Facilities, sponsored by Sen. James Dill, D-Old Town, was overturned by a 136-3 vote in the House and a 32-3 vote in the Senate.
-- The veto of LD 780, Resolve, Authorizing the Director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands to Convey the Parcel of Land in Kittery Known as John Paul Jones Memorial Park to the Town of Kittery, sponsored by Sen. Dawn Hill, D-Cape Neddick, was overturned 137-2 in the House and 35-0 in the Senate.
-- The veto of LD 136, An Act to Clarify that the Medical Records of Applicants for Disability Variances Submitted to Municipal Boards of Appeal are Not Public Records, sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Monaghan, D-Cape Elizabeth, was overturned in the House 146-0 and in the Senate 35-0.
-- The veto of LD 206, An Act to Clarify Restrictions on the Disclosure of E-9-1-1 System Information, sponsored by Rep. Barry Hobbins, D-Saco, was overturned in the House 135-12 and 35-0 in the Senate.
-- The veto of LD 488, An Act to Expand the Scope of Practice for Denturists, sponsored by Rep. Michael Shaw, D-Standish, was overturned in the House 146-0 and 35-0 in the Senate.
-- The veto of LD 700, An Act Regarding the Industry Partnership Assistance Collaborative's Grant Program, sponsored by Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, was overturned in the House 146-1 and in the Senate 35-0.
-- The veto of LD 776, An Act to Update the Validation of Miscellaneous Defects and Defective Acknowledgements in the Conveyance of Real Estate, sponsored by Hobbins, was overturned in the House 147-0 and in the Senate 35-0.
-- The veto of LD 892, An Act to Amend Certain Laws Affecting the Judicial Branch, sponsored by Monaghan, was overturned in the House 135-12 and in the House 35-0.
-- The veto of LD 987, An Act to Suspend the Right of an Out-of-state Toll Violator to Operate a Motor Vehicle on Maine Roads, sponsored by Rep. Andrew McLean, D-Gorham, was overturned in the House 146-0 and in the Senate 35-0.
One of the vetoes, LD 788, An Act to Improve the Health of Maine Citizens and Safety of Pedestrians, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Denise Harlow of Portland, was sustained in the House of Representatives by a vote of 92-56. That fell seven votes short of a veto override.
(c)2015 the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine)