Just hours after the Maine Legislature overrode seven vetoes by Republican Gov. Paul LePage, the governor vetoed six more Democratic bills late Monday afternoon.

The veto free-for-all took place throughout the day Monday and affects legislation ranging from standardized tests for children and protections for the shellfish industry to ensuring access for MaineCare-eligible children to dental, hearing and vision services.

Among the vetoed bills unanimously overturned by the Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate is one that seeks to ensure that standardized tests taken by children ages 4 through 9 can’t be used to restrict their entrance into kindergarten or determine their future academic success, the Associated Press reported.

The House and Senate also voted unanimously to override LePage’s veto of L.D. 483, a bill to promote more accuracy in the reporting standards for child abuse by hospitals.

LePage is vetoing all bills sponsored by Democratic lawmakers because they won’t support his plan to ask voters if they want to eliminate the income tax, the AP reported.

“As promised, I am vetoing all bills sponsored by Democrats because they have stifled the voice of Maine citizens by preventing them from voting on the elimination of the income tax,” LePage said in a note that was attached to a few of his vetoes Monday.


“These legislators were elected to serve the people of Maine, but they choose to operate behind closed doors to advance their own partisan agendas. Rather than work with me to at least give the Maine people a chance to vote on lowering or eliminating the income tax, they closed the door.”

“I will not sit by and watch a handful of Democrats disenfranchise the people they were elected to represent,” the governor said.

LePage issued six vetoes late Monday afternoon. The Legislature could consider an override of those vetoes as early as Tuesday.

The governor Monday rejected a bill aimed at issuing gravestones for deceased veterans with no next of kin, legislation designed to ensure that MaineCare-eligible children have access to dental, hearing and vision services, and a bill to increase penalties for individuals who interfere with shellfish harvests.

LePage offered a detailed explanation of why he rejected some bills, including L.D. 1176, “An Act to Prohibit the Sale and Possession of Powdered Alcohol.”

The governor said the bill’s proponents see it as a way to keep children safe from alcohol. LePage said the Legislature is misguided and needs to focus its resources on fighting the state’s “illegal drug epidemic.”


“Instead of addressing understaffing at the Department of Public Safety to put more drug enforcement agents on the streets and target the real drug problem, this bill would levy fines on hikers visiting the State of Maine if they simply possess powdered alcohol they lawfully purchased in other states,” LePage said. “It is outrageous that the Legislature would rather impose fines on tourists than take action to stop the flow of illegal drugs into our state.”

Legislators took Monday’s vetoes in stride.

“We had more great votes today. Democrats, Republicans and independents came together to support good policy and to say no to obstructionism and partisan vindictiveness,” House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, said in a statement.


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