AUGUSTA – The House and Senate voted overwhelmingly Monday to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would extend the time period for families of murder victims to file civil lawsuits against the killers.

But House lawmakers failed to overturn a LePage veto of a bill to require the Maine State Lottery to provide more details about its advertising expenditures, a proposal that came in response to media reports that the lottery was targeting poorer Mainers.

Overall, lawmakers made quick work of about a half-dozen vetoes by LePage as they aim to wrap up the 2016 legislative session several days earlier than the scheduled April 20 adjournment. Both chambers voted to override four bills Monday – all by substantially more than the required two-thirds margin – and House lawmakers voted to overturn a fifth bill, which now awaits Senate action.

The collective 179-1 vote in both chambers on lawsuits for “cold cases” was a notable rebuff of LePage, who had accused lawmakers of passing “a hollow bill making empty promises for political gain.”

Under current law, relatives of murder victims have just two years after a person’s death to file a “wrongful death” lawsuit against parties involved in the crime. Critics of the current law note that it can take many years or even decades before an investigation brings an arrest, much less a conviction.

The bill that will become law, L.D. 1605, will give “personal representatives” of a homicide victim six years from the discovery of “just cause of action against the person” – not two years from the death – to file a lawsuit. That could allow family members to seek financial compensation from killers who are convicted decades after the death based on new evidence.

Sen. Linda Valentino, D-Saco, had introduced the bill in response to pleas from so-called “cold case families.”

“This is their bill, not mine,” Valentino said in a written statement. “They have advocated strongly for … its passage even though it won’t help any of them. This bill isn’t for their benefit – it’s for the benefit of future victims’ families, who should never be denied justice because of an arbitrary statute of limitations.”

In his veto letter sent to lawmakers Friday, LePage criticized them for passing a bill that he said “is nothing more than pandering to grieved families.”

LePage, a Republican, wrote that the bill “muddles a simple and clear statute of limitations to no practical end.”

“What damages will those bringing these suits really be able to recover?” LePage wrote. “Does anyone truly believe that the murderers in Maine’s prison system have incredible assets to cover these damages? Perhaps the murderers in Maine’s prison system saw fit to procure insurance coverage for their homicidal acts? This is a hollow bill making empty promises for political gain.”

But Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, a Democrat, previously described the bill as “an attempt to give some of Maine’s families a glimmer of hope” by acknowledging that murderers could stay hidden for years, sometimes decades.

“While this bill may not give the families present a specific right to bring suit because their right may already have lapsed, and it’s still often a long shot to get money damages from a murderer who may be judgment-proof, still it will be significant that the Legislature has listened to these families,” Mills wrote in testimony to the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

The governor had more success with his veto of a bill to require additional reports from the agency that handles liquor sales and the state lottery.

The bill, L.D. 1669, would have required the director of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations to submit annual reports to the Legislature on revenues and operating profits from liquor sales. It also would have required a report on how money was spent during the previous year to advertise and promote the state’s lottery games.

The proposal followed a report by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting that found residents of the state’s poorest towns spend as much as 200 times more per person on the lottery than residents in wealthier areas. The investigation also found the state lottery has more than tripled its advertising budget since 2003.

The bill passed both chambers unanimously last month without debate or roll call votes. But on Monday, House Republicans and some Democrats voted to support the governor’s veto. The 80-66 vote was well short of the two-thirds margin needed to overturn the veto.

In his veto message, LePage disputed the investigative report’s findings and said the bill would force the agency to conduct a costly report “containing unnecessary and duplicative information.”

Lawmakers also overturned LePage vetoes of bills to:

 Clarify when a “certificate of need” is required after ownership of a health care facility changes.

 Allow the Statewide Independent Living Council to file civil lawsuits for alleged violations of laws requiring public accommodations, and also require additional reports to the Legislature.

• Allow the Sinclair Sanitary District to lease a portion of land for a telecommunications tower.