July 10, 2013

Override bids leave most LePage vetoes standing

Gov. Paul LePage shot down an unprecedented 83 bills during this year's session, and only five were overturned.

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 1)

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Rep. Deb Sanderson, R-Chelsea, center, raises her arm, along with other legislators, during a vote in the House of Representatives Tuesday.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

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Minority Leader Rep. Ken Fredette, R-Newport, center, watches votes get cast Tuesday July 9 in the House of Representatives during debate to override several vetoes issued by Gov. Paul LePage.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Additional Photos Below

Related headlines

• The Senate was four votes short of overriding a veto of L.D. 236, which would have required police to get warrants in most cases before using unmanned aircraft -- drones -- for surveillance of Maine residents.

• Democrats' two attempts to amend the 2011 health insurance overhaul law were defeated.

• L.D. 161 would have created a single rating area for health insurance companies. Democrats argued that the 2011 law penalizes small businesses in rural communities because insurance companies can charge higher premiums based on age and geography. Democrats came up nine votes short of overriding the governor's veto.

• L.D. 225 would have beefed up the state's rate review process of health insurance plans. Democrats argued that insurance companies can jack up rates without a thorough public review, while the governor said the state has significant rate-hike protections. The measure came up nine votes short of an override, 89-53.

• L.D. 703 would have increased automatic penalties for those who commit crimes against animals. LePage said the bill was "legislative overreach" and removed judicial discretion to assess penalties. Democrats voted 18-15 to override the veto, but were four votes short of the two-thirds threshold.

• The Senate also sustained the governor's veto of L.D. 1103, sponsored by Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, as an attempt curb the forest products industry's use of Canadian loggers. Jackson has argued that the practice puts Maine loggers out of work.

• The House voted to override the governor's veto of L.D. 1263, which would have increased the registration fee for snowmobiles and used the money to maintain snowmobile trails. LePage vetoed the bill because of the fee increase. The Senate, however, sustained the veto with an 18-14 vote.

The Legislature was set to adjourn early Wednesday morning. Lawmakers are expected to return in the fall to vote on a bond package that could be put to voters in November.

This story has been corrected to note that the Legislature overturned all but five of the governor's vetoes. 

Steve Mistler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at:




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Additional Photos

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Speaker of the House Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, speaks on the phone during a vote Tuesday July 9 in the House of Representatives during debate to override several vetoes issued by Gov. Paul LePage.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal


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