May 22, 2018
Politics Latest News | Poll Questions | Marijuana Ties | Mary Mayhew | Car Theft

LePage’s last major veto volley


Updated:

Maine legislators return to the State House on Wednesday to vote on the latest round of vetoes issued by Gov. Paul LePage. Among the most significant are bills to set up a system to sell and regulate marijuana, expand access to Narcan and restore funding for certain child protective services. Legislators also left a slew of unfinished business when they recessed on April 19. Follow all the developments here.


Robert Long
May 2, 20189:48 am

The House and Senate are scheduled to convene at 10 a.m., but they operate on legislative time. We’ll let you know when the bells start ringing to summon lawmakers to session.


Michael Shepherd
May 2, 201810:02 am

Today’s BDN Daily Brief will get you caught up on what’s expected in the Legislature today. In short, House Democrats and House Republicans are still fighting over a spending package — which is what they were fighting over when they last convened last month.

Today, the Legislature is expected to hold override votes on 20 LePage vetoes, but Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, and House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, are also advancing another bid to extend the legislative session by five days.

But House Republicans blocked that last month and they’re showing no signs of reversing themselves. If they don’t, it may actually be a quick day in Augusta.


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 201810:15 am


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 201810:27 am

The House and Senate bells are ringing, which means lawmakers are starting to trickle in for today’s sessions. You can find live video feeds of both chambers here: http://legislature.maine.gov/. NOTE: Sometimes these bells ring for an hour before things start. 


Robert Long
May 2, 201810:44 am

The Senate is in and has overwhelmingly voted to override four more vetoes. Those four bills — plus one that the Senate previously voted to override — now move to the House.


Michael Shepherd
May 2, 201810:50 am

The Senate sustained two of seven LePage vetoes in a first round of votes. Republicans mustered enough opposition to kill proposals to establish a student loan bill of rights and create a new wood energy program. Most of the other vetoes were easily overridden and will go to the House of Representatives. See the tracker above for more information.


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 201810:54 am

Touching remembrances happening now in the House regarding slain Somerset County Cpl. Eugene Cole. 


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 201811:00 am

There was a fairly major development this morning in regards to a citizen-initiated bill to create a universal home health care system, which will appear as a question on the November ballot. A coalition of groups held a press conference at the State House voicing strong opposition to the proposal because of its cost — it would create a new 3.8 percent surtax on income above $128,400 — and what they say are major constitutional flaws in the proposed law. Among the groups in opposition are dozens of business and trade groups you’d expect to oppose tax increases, along with the Maine Hospital Association, the Home Care and Hospice Alliance of Maine and the Maine Health Care Association. 

The BDN will have more details about that development later, after the dust settles elsewhere in the State House. 


Christopher Burns
May 2, 201811:03 am


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 201811:31 am

The House of Representatives has voted 109-39 against a LePage veto of LD 1719, which proposes a number of provisions to sell, tax and regulate recreational marijuana for Mainers aged 21 and older. A version of this bill failed last fall after a LePage veto and the veto being sustained in the House. The veto now goes to the Senate, which will almost certainly override. LePage has expressed concerns that pot remains illegal in federal law but the majority of the Maine Legislature now officially disagrees. 


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 201811:31 am


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 201811:33 am


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 201811:35 am


Robert Long
May 2, 201811:40 am

There has been almost no debate on House veto votes.


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 201811:44 am

Both the House and Senate have now gone into recess, having voted on a number of vetoes this morning. Both chambers will reconvene later today to swap lists of veto votes and debate the controversial issue of whether to extend the session. The buzz among lawmakers is that nothing has changed since April 19, ie. it seems like the session will end today but nothing is for sure until it happens here at the State House. 

House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, just stressed that House Republicans should return to the chamber at 12:45 p.m. SHARP, which indicates to me that the caucus is holding together against an extension order. 


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 20181:01 pm


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 20181:01 pm


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 20181:39 pm

House Speaker Sara Gideon said just now that the House is about to be called back into session and that she will present a proposal to extend the legislative session another four days with a specific plan about how to use each additional day.

Gideon said the priority on day one would be for votes on a number of bills on today’s House calendar and at least two unfunded bills that are currently mired in the Appropriations Committee that would fund raises for direct care workers next year. Those raises were approved in last year’s biennial budget bill for this year with an agreement between lawmakers and a promise to the workers that the second year of raises would be addressed this year.

Gideon said she viewed those bills as different from the other funding bills that are at the center of the impasse currently gripping the State House because of the promises made last year. She said she does not support breaking up the rest of the group for individual votes, as House Republicans are calling for.

Gideon said the 2nd day of the extension, under her current proposal, would be a marathon for both chambers as they deal with all the outstanding issues, including a bond package, tax conformity and a crucial education funding bill. The third and fourth days of the extension would be to deal with anticipated line-item vetoes and vetoes, respectively.

There was no indication whether Gideon’s compromise proposal will sway enough Republicans to garner the two-thirds majority necessary to extend the session. The talk through most of the day Wednesday was that the GOP caucus is holding firm.


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 20181:42 pm

House Speaker Sara Gideon said just now that the House is about to be called back into session and that she will present a proposal to extend the legislative session another four days with a specific plan about how to use each additional day.

Gideon said the priority on day one would be for votes on a number of bills on today’s House calendar and at least two unfunded bills that are currently mired in the Appropriations Committee that would fund raises for direct care workers next year. Those raises were approved in last year’s biennial budget bill for this year with an agreement between lawmakers and a promise to the workers that the second year of raises would be addressed this year. 

Gideon said she viewed those bills as different from the other funding bills that are at the center of the impasse currently gripping the State House because of the promises made last year. She said she does not support breaking up the rest of the group for individual votes, as House Republicans are calling for.
Gideon said the 2nd day of the extension, under her current proposal, would be a marathon for both chambers as they deal with all the outstanding issues, including a bond package, tax conformity and a crucial education funding bill. The third and fourth days of the extension would be to deal with anticipated line-item vetoes and vetoes, respectively.
There was no indication whether Gideon’s compromise proposal will sway enough Republicans to garner the two-thirds majority necessary to extend the session. The talk through most of the day Wednesday was that the GOP caucus is holding firm.


Michael Shepherd
May 2, 20181:51 pm


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 20181:52 pm

House Speaker Sara Gideon said just now that the House is about to be called back into session and that she will present a proposal to extend the legislative session another four days with a specific plan about how to use each additional day.

Gideon said the priority on day one would be for votes on a number of bills on today’s House calendar and at least two unfunded bills that are currently mired in the Appropriations Committee that would fund raises for direct care workers next year. Those raises were approved in last year’s biennial budget bill for this year with an agreement between lawmakers and a promise to the workers that the second year of raises would be addressed this year. 

Gideon said she viewed those bills as different from the other funding bills that are at the center of the impasse currently gripping the State House because of the promises made last year. She said she does not support breaking up the rest of the group for individual votes, as House Republicans are calling for.

Gideon said the 2nd day of the extension, under her current proposal, would be a marathon for both chambers as they deal with all the outstanding issues, including a bond package, tax conformity and a crucial education funding bill. The third and fourth days of the extension would be to deal with anticipated line-item vetoes and vetoes, respectively.

There was no indication whether Gideon’s compromise proposal will sway enough Republicans to garner the two-thirds majority necessary to extend the session. The talk through most of the day Wednesday was that the GOP caucus is holding firm.


Robert Long
May 2, 20182:54 pm


Robert Long
May 2, 20183:27 pm

Speaker Sara Gideon says she appreciates the spirit of compromise in Rep. Matt Pouliot’s one-day extension proposal, but says that more days would be needed to deal with vetoes of bills sent to Gov. Paul LePage during the extension.


Robert Long
May 2, 20183:29 pm

In floor discussion, House Republicans continue to question whether they can trust the chamber’s Democratic leaders.


Robert Long
May 2, 20183:32 pm


Troy R. Bennett
May 2, 20183:36 pm

Jackson Boucher, 9, a page, waits for the Maine House of Representatives to come back from recess on Wednesday in Augusta. (Troy R. Bennett | BDN)


Robert Long
May 2, 20183:45 pm


Robert Long
May 2, 20183:53 pm


Robert Long
May 2, 20183:55 pm

Vote tally on Rep. Matt Pouliot’s amendment to extend the session by one day:


Troy R. Bennett
May 2, 20184:06 pm

Maine Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, makes a proposal to extend the legislative session on Wednesday in Augusta. (Troy R. Bennett | BDN)


Robert Long
May 2, 20184:07 pm

While you are waiting for House members to return from their extended recess to discuss extending the current session, entertain yourself by watching Mookie Betts hit three home runs today in Boston’s 5-4 win over Kansas City.
http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=23385909


Robert Long
May 2, 20184:32 pm


Troy R. Bennett
May 2, 20184:53 pm

House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, (right) and Assistant House Minority Leader Ellie Espling, R-New Gloucester, talk in the State House in Augusta on Wednesday. (Troy R. Bennett | BDN)


Robert Long
May 2, 20185:33 pm

We haven’t abandoned you. The House members seem to be working to break the world record for longest “five-minute recess.”


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 20185:35 pm

The House of Representatives is re-convening, two hours into what was announced to be a five-minute break. 


Robert Long
May 2, 20186:05 pm

The House returned and approved a new amendment that would extend the session by three days. It now will require a two-thirds vote, which seems like a challenge.


Robert Long
May 2, 20186:09 pm

House Republicans hold firm, essentially killing House Speaker Sara Gideon’s last chance to push through a compromise to extend the session. 


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 20186:10 pm


Robert Long
May 2, 20186:11 pm


Robert Long
May 2, 20186:37 pm

The House and Senate are going through the final formal acts of adjourning. It’s done.


Christopher Cousins
May 2, 20186:41 pm

That’s it. Both the House and Senate have adjourned sine die, which means “without day.” If the Legislature returns this year, it will have to be during a special session. There is uncertainty abound. 


Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like