Gov. Paul LePage vetoed five bills Friday, including one that would have required school districts to start summer lunch programs if they have a high number of students who get free or reduced-price lunches during the school year.

LePage said he opposed the bill because it would impose a mandate on districts without any money to pay for it.

The governor has the opportunity to veto bills passed near the end of the first regular session of the Legislature during the first three days of the second session.

Another bill vetoed by LePage would have required state institutions to serve Maine-produced food, which the governor said goes too far and might be impossible to comply with or lead to increased food costs.

LePage said the goal of the bill is laudable, but the state already has a law that requires agencies to buy Maine-grown or -fished food when practicable.

However, he said the bill passed during the last session goes too far in requiring the purchases.


The governor also rejected a bill intended to correct technical errors in the state budget.

He said the bill would increase tax rates on services such as cable television, movie rentals and support services for those with intellectual disabilities.

LePage said he opposes higher taxes and the bill went beyond dealing with minor or technical problems in the budget.

LePage also vetoed bills that would have provided smoking-cessation programs for MaineCare insurance members but did not call for cost-sharing, such as co-pays, and another that would have allowed high school students to take college-level courses.

LePage said he supports expanding the courses high school students can take, but will resubmit the bill with a way to pay for the program, which the bill passed last year lacked.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]

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