Monday, April 21, 2014
Been awhile . . .
Sun-n-fun: All eyes will be on the Legislature this week. That's because Gov. Paul LePage is off to Jamaica for his annual vacation.
So far, no Democratic leader has submitted a bill to bar the governor from taking a vacation, but there are at least two proposals that will be reviewed Monday that would take his pension.
The first, sponsored by Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, the assistant Senate leader could be voted out by the State and Local Government Committee Monday morning. Jackson's bill has enountered a rough reception, even from Democrats.
Later on Monday, Portland Democratic Rep. Diane Russell's bill to eliminate the governor's pension, state-funded health insurance and give the state finance commissioner permission to sell the Blaine House will be heard by the State and Local panel.
Hold the veto spree: No LePage means a brief respite from the veto speculation.
The governor signed two bills on Friday, both regulating elver licenses from Passamaquoddy Tribe and Penobscot Nation.
That brings to four the total number of bills that LePage has signed this session; the temporary shield of concealed weapon permit information and the St. Patrick's Day bill are the other two.
Seven others, including the supplemental budget, have passed without his signature.
So far the governor hasn't lived up to his veto threat, but more on that later.
Road show: The Appropriations Committee will be in Brewer Monday for a second dive on the governor's budget proposal to suspend municipal revenue sharing and several other controversial measures.
It would appear that the supporters of the governor's budget will be in hostile territory (the Brewer City Council has already passed a resolution opposing the budget), but it looks like the Maine Republican Party is hoping to balance the engagement.
The party on Friday sent out an action alert telling supporters about the town hall meeting.
Non-political item: Good news 'Breaking Bad' fans, Jesse Pinkman's beater is for sale.
It's true. Mike Faris Auto Wholesale LTD in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is selling the 1984 Toyota Tercel that somehow managed to survive Pinkman's meth-fueled manuverings and encounters with Mexican kingpins.
The dealership has a "best offer" price listing.
There seems to be less of a market for the Jesse's Tercel than Walter's Pontiac Aztek, a vehicle made infamous for looking ridiculous without the passage of time. In fact, the Aztek was pretty much panned when debuted at the 2001 Detriot auto show.
Here's a blurb from Time, which named the Aztek one of the 50 worst cars of all time: "With its multiple eyes and supernumerary nostrils, the Aztek looks deformed and scary, something that dogs bark at and cathedrals employ to ring bells (cf., Fiat Multipla)."
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.