Legislature will not re-convene immediately to address Governor's line-item veto

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The Legislature will not reconvene immediately to try and overturn Governor LePage’s line-item veto of two items in the recently passed budget bill.

The rules regarding line-item vetoes allow the Legislature to reconvene “with consent of the majority of the members of the Legislature of each political party, all Members of the Legislature having first been polled.”

According to a letter (see below) sent to democrat leadership from Senate President Kevin Raye (R) and Speaker of the House Bob Nutting (R), “two-thirds of them [republicans] have declined to consent convening the Legislature.”

Not surprisingly, the majority of democrats, the letter notes, voted to convene the Legislature to try and overturn the governor’s vetoes.

Governor LePage vetoed two line-items, one regarding general assistance, the welfare money given to towns from the state to handout. LePage’s original plan called for more substantial changes to the general assistance program, with LePage saying that the welfare program, “like most other [welfare programs], has gotten out of control.”

The other veto stopped the use of Medicaid money to fund the costs of housing people involuntarily in mental institutions, for instance in the case of a criminal defendant. LePage said that federal Medicaid funds are not allowed to be used to fund the stays of this type of population.

With a constitutional five-day window for the Legislature to overturn line item vetoes, this would indicate that the changes LePage made to the budget package will stand. The Legislature will convene again as scheduled on May 15. They will be back in session to work on additional supplemental budget.

Reports note that this is the first time since the line-item veto was put in place constitutionally by voters in 1995 that a Governor has used it. That’s not surprising considering that up until this point democrat Governors have worked almost exclusively with democrat majorities in the legislature, ushering through many majority budgets that all democrats agreed on, with little republicans could do but sit and watch.

However, in this republican controlled legislature, after weeks and months of capitulation by the Appropriations Committee and the full body, many republicans have moved in the direction of democrats on several budget items the Governor proposed, leading to the line-item veto showdown.

Expect the political rhetoric to heat up. Democrats are already calling republicans “flipfloppers” and calling them out “for a lack of courage” according to statements by Representatives Barry Hobbins (D) and Seth Berry (D).

Read the full letter from President Raye and Speaker Nutting below:

Polling Letter 4-12

1 COMMENT

  1. The choice for the House Republicans was A – go along with
    the wimpy Senate who screwed them with the workers comp bill, the energy bill
    and possibly the takings bill or B – Go along with the Governor who seems to
    enjoy giving Democrats back control of the legislature and insults them every
    chance he gets. They went with the Governor but don’t expect that to last long.

  2. Why do Democrats support illegal use of Medicaid funding? It seems to me they should have been correcting that long-term violation themselves. Don’t Democrats care about following Federal law?

  3. I certainly enjoyed the tv bit with bil nemitz and ray richardson! I especialy enjoyed the typical richardsons rant(or give a fool enough rope and his true colors come out) where in his view the minority or win at any means is all that matters(isn’t that the end justifies thye means? or commie dogma)
     roflmao at this self proclaimed political expert! hmmm he loves the maine heritage boys,probably knew about “alec” long before most mainers and tried hard to get tabor past!
      lets face it ray -its all about the greenback to you! thats how you avoid working for a living(ha ha) manual labor if that sounds better!

  4. I want to know if raye and nutting got approval from maine heritage or its fund provider “:alec ” first! before they issued this statement!

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