AUGUSTA — Republicans in the House of Representatives on Wednesday joined the Democratic majority to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that requires high school students to learn how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The bill also required that students are trained how to use a defibrillator.

LePage vetoed the bill on May 31 after it passed unanimously in the House and Senate. The governor supported CPR training but he opposed creating a mandate for school districts.

On Wednesday the House voted 125-18 to override the veto. A Senate vote is still required to complete the override.

Should the Senate mirror Wednesday’s action by the House it will mark the Legislature’s first override of the session.

The Legislature has sustained eight of LePage’s vetoes this session. In many instances Republican lawmakers have flipped their votes on legislation that they previously supported.

That wasn’t the case on Wednesday. House Republican leader Rep. Ken Fredette, of Newport, reiterated his support for the bill during a brief floor debate. Fredette, whose wife is a school teacher, said the CPR and defibrillator training could save lives.

Wednesday’s vote wasn’t the first time the House voted to override a LePage veto this year. In April the House voted 136-6 to overturn a veto on a bill that would require state and federal agencies and private companies to honor payment agreements with county registers of deeds. However, the Senate fell one vote short and the veto was sustained.

Steve Mistler can be contacted at 620-7016
or at smistler@pressherald.com