AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage’s third veto of the current legislative session will stand after House Democrats failed Tuesday to achieve the two-thirds majority vote required for an override.
House members voted 88-55 Tuesday to override LePage’s veto of LD 405, which would have allowed municipalities to increase their processing fees for vehicle registration by $2.
The bill passed the House 89-57 and the Senate 24-11 late last month, largely along party lines with most Democrats supporting the measure and most Republicans opposing it.
In his veto message issued Friday, LePage criticized lawmakers for passing “minor bills” without widespread support “when they are likely to receive a veto on my desk” and “while the real issues — paying our hospitals and balancing our budget — continue to languish.”
“The problems we face in Maine do not stem from a lack of government taking money from its citizens,” he wrote.
During brief floor debate Tuesday, Rep. Alan Casavant, a Democrat who also serves as Biddeford’s mayor, said he submitted the bill as an attempt to help cities and towns tap revenue sources other than property taxes.
“If I can find any way possible to have users pay fees, certainly I am going to do that,” Casavant said, emphasizing that his bill made the fee increase optional.
House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport labeled LD 405 a tax increase and urged legislators to sustain the veto.
LePage previously vetoed bills that would have banned the use of tanning beds by people younger than 18 years old and a measure designed to standardize payment practices for government agencies and businesses dealing with county registries of deeds.