AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage has largely fulfilled his promise to veto bills with Democratic sponsors, but the Legislature isn’t playing along.

Lawmakers voted to override the governor nine out of 10 times Tuesday and Wednesday. That means nine bills, ranging from cracking down on toll violators on the Maine Turnpike to the LePage administration’s own request to change a business grant program, will become law over the objections of the governor.

Nine of the vetoes were issued because the governor has vowed to reject any bill sponsored by Democrats until they approve his constitutional amendment to eliminate the income tax by 2020.

The governor’s proposal is currently stalled between the House and Senate. It has so far failed to gain the two-thirds support needed to be sent to voters for final approval in a referendum.

The governor wrote in his veto message that Democrats”have stifled the voice of Maine citizens” by not sending the income tax amendment to voters.

“Therefore, any bills sponsored by Democrats must have at least a two-thirds vote and a roll call to get by me,” he wrote in nine of the veto messages.


The Senate completed the overrides of eight of the Democrat-sponsored bills in rapid succession Wednesday, after decisive votes in the House on Tuesday. Several of the votes were unanimous.

Two-thirds votes by the House and Senate are required to override a veto by the governor.

Rep. Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, assistant House majority leader, said in a prepared statement Tuesday that the override votes showed “bipartisanship and good governance.”

“What we’re seeing from the governor is altogether different,” Gideon said. “Not only is this not good governance, it’s not governance at all.”

One of the governor’s vetoes was sustained Tuesday in the House, falling seven votes short of an override. The proposal, L.D. 788, was designed to add pedestrians to a law requiring motorists to give 3 feet of clearance when passing bicyclists or someone using in-line skates, often called Rollerblades.

Here are the bills that passed when vetoes were overridden, along with the votes:


Medical records: A bill that protects the confidentiality of medical records of people who apply for municipal appeals board variances because of a disability, L.D. 136: House and Senate, unanimous.

911 calls: A bill that extends confidentiality to personal information about third parties mentioned in 911 calls, in addition to the caller and the person receiving medical services, L.D. 206: House 135-12, Senate 35-0.

Underage drinking: A bill that shields minors from criminal prosecution under under-age drinking laws if he or she reports to police any alcohol consumption that could result in an overdose, L.D. 263: House 124-23, Senate 26-9.

Dental care: A bill that allows licensed denturists to place and repair sports mouth guards and perform teeth whitening services, L.D. 488: House 146-0, Senate 35-0.

Economic development: A bill that reduces the private-sector matching fund requirement from 50 percent to 25 percent in the Industry Partnership Assistance Collaborative Grant Program, and provides a matching grant exemption option for businesses with fewer than 25 employees, L.D. 700: House 146-1, Senate 35-0.

Property records: A bill that updates the laws that validate real estate titles despite certain technical flaws in related documents, L.D. 776: House 147-0, Senate 35-0.


Land conveyance: A resolve authorizing the director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands to convey John Paul Jones Memorial Park in Kittery to the town, L.D. 780: House 137-2, Senate 35-0.

Court fines: A bill that removes the $500 limit on the amount of a fine a person may pay with a credit card and makes other minor changes related to court actions, L.D. 892: House 135-12, Senate 35-0.

toll scofflaws: A bill that changes notification requirements to make it easier for the state to suspend an out-of-state Maine Turnpike toll violator’s right to operate a vehicle in Maine, L.D. 987: House 146-0, Senate 35-0.

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

Twitter: @stevemistler

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