AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Senate has upheld Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill to prohibit foreign loggers from working on state-owned land managed by the Department of Conservation.
The bill passed in the Legislature last month, but LePage vetoed it Tuesday on constitutional grounds. The Senate voted Wednesday to sustain the veto, killing the bill.
LePage cited a letter from the attorney general saying the bill raises equal protection questions under the Constitution, and that contractors already are prohibited from using Canadian loggers unless they can’t find Maine or U.S. workers.
Sen. Troy Jackson, a logger from Allagash, says LePage is “more interested in giving jobs to Canadians rather than Maine workers.” He and others say woodland owners and contractors hire cheaper Canadian loggers while Maine workers struggle to find jobs.