Gov. Paul LePage issued 21 more vetoes late Friday afternoon, including five for bills that he rejected because they had been sponsored by Democrats.

The governor has promised to veto all bills that were sponsored by Democrats because he blames the party’s lawmakers for blocking a vote on a constitutional amendment that would get rid of the state’s income tax. This week, he expanded that veto threat to all legislation that reaches his desk, saying lawmakers “wasted our time” in adopting a budget and he was “going to waste a little bit of their time” by vetoing all their bills.

Separately, the governor issued vetoes of 64 specific spending lines in the budget that was adopted by the Legislature earlier this week. Those vetoes, covering $60 million in spending, were overridden by the Legislature on Thursday and Friday. The House overrode 15 more vetoes in the highway and transportation budget, which is separate from the state budget, but the Senate has not yet acted on those vetoes.

LePage has also said he will reject the full budget once the line-item vetoes are dispensed with.

Of the vetoes issued by LePage on Friday, the five bills he said he rejected because they were sponsored by Democrats would help those with breast cancer; make the foreclosure process more transparent; amend rules for registering professional engineers; make changes in the requirements for nursing services in home health care; and set a bag limit for brook trout on parts of Webster Stream in Piscataquis County.

“As promised, I am vetoing all bills sponsored by Democrats, who vote for the job-killing, pro-welfare agenda set by the Maine People’s Alliance, but have stifled the voice of the Maine people by preventing them from voting on the elimination of the income tax,” LePage said in vetoing those five measures.


He also vetoed a bill to create “corridor districts” to control funding for transportation and transit services. LePage said the districts would create “a whole new type of government” that would exist only to further “pie-in-the-sky special-interest projects.”

LePage rejected a bill that would allow nonresident college students to get hunting, fishing and trapping licenses at the residents’ fee. The governor said the measure commits two major errors in lawmaking: “ineptly addressing the wrong problem.” He said lawmakers should recognize that the state is “drawing nigh to a demographic death spiral” and instead should encourage nonresidents to move to Maine so they can take advantage of resident fees on hunting, fishing and trapping.


The governor said he rejected a bill that would have set aside a seat on the Maine Commission on Domestic and Sexual Abuse for an executive director of a tribal coalition because it would take away the flexibility for seats on the commission to be filled by at-large members. He vetoed a bill expanding a program encouraging renewable energy because, LePage said, it would raise electricity rates for Mainers and the original program was “arbitrary, inflexible, costly and an abysmal failure.”

A bill requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to update its rules on services for children with cognitive impairments and functional limits was rejected, LePage said, because the department already updates its rules as the federal government does.

LePage said he vetoed a bill that would have limited the amount of money that developers could hold back in construction contracts to 5 percent of the overall contract because it would limit leverage in cases where the work is considered to be substandard. He also said the law would create a double standard because it didn’t lower the hold-back limit on government contracts from 10 percent.


A bill to have the Real Estate Commission review the state’s requirements for real estate agents was rejected by LePage because, he said, a requirement to increase class time for agents “constituted an unnecessary barrier to employment.” He also vetoed a bill that, the governor said, would have limited a judge’s discretion on whether to shackle juveniles in court.


LePage vetoed a bill to set up a review committee to examine laws on hayrides, one of which resulted in the death of a 17-year-old girl last fall in Mechanic Falls. LePage said the committee would draw away resources in the Department of Public Safety that would be better used to combat illegal drugs. He also rejected a bill to encourage a pilot project for adult family care in Washington County, saying such a project would be better if initiated by the private sector.

A proposal to amend campaign finance reporting laws was vetoed by LePage because it amounted, he said, “to form-over-substance changes” that didn’t enhance the reporting laws. LePage also vetoed a bill to expand access to epinephrine auto-injectors, which can be used to counter allergic reactions, because the governor said he’s worried about nonmedical people injecting others with epinephrine.

The governor also rejected a bill that would have clarified the mortgage foreclosure process, saying it “does nothing more than prolong the agony of the foreclosure sale process on the mortgagor.” In addition, LePage vetoed a bill barring unauthorized payments in an adoption, saying it goes too far to make it a crime to receive such payments.

The other bills vetoed by LePage would have required new training for 911 operators, which he said would have raised costs for law enforcement agencies, and a bill to amend election laws, including prohibiting an immediate family member of a candidate or federal officer from serving as a registrar in an election. LePage said the law was “based on the assumption that most people are dishonest.”

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

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