AUGUSTA — Democratic lawmakers said Sunday that another 51 bills have become law after Republican Gov. Paul LePage missed his deadline to act on them by midnight Saturday.

But LePage has said he won’t enforce the laws and is expected to take the issue to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. He said that because lawmakers adjourned last month, the requirement that he must act on a bill within 10 days doesn’t apply.

Democratic leaders insist the Legislature did not adjourn, but instead “recessed” until Thursday to take up more vetoes expected from the governor and finish other work for the session. A recess would keep the 10-day deadline in place.

In an opinion issued Friday, Attorney General Janet Mills sided with the Democratic view and said 19 other bills with an earlier deadline for action by the governor have become law.

Among the bills that Democrats say became law after Saturday are measures to expand access to a drug overdose antidote and to provide insurance coverage for reproductive services to more women.

“We made it clear all week what options the governor had, but instead he ignored the process, the Constitution and defied logic,” House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, said in a written statement.

Peter Steele, a spokesman for LePage, reiterated Sunday that the governor plans to return the bills to the Legislature when it reconvenes for three consecutive days. Steele said in an email that Democrats and their “hand-picked” attorney general are entitled to their opinion, but that LePage believes Mainers deserve a “truly objective opinion from a higher legal authority.”


Comments are not available on this story.