Democratic leaders reject Gov. LePage’s call for legislative do-over
Maine Democratic legislative leaders soundly rejected Governor Paul LePage’s request this afternoon to hold a special legislative session to revisit several pieces of legislation passed earlier this year, including an increase in wages for care providers at mental health facilities.
“We will not be coming back into session,” said House Speaker Mark Eves. “I refuse to waste taxpayer dollars to participate in the governor’s election-year political theater. The governor’s disagreement over bipartisan, agreed-upon funding sources does not constitute an ‘extraordinary occasion’, as outlined in Maine’s Constitution. There is nothing extraordinary about Governor LePage refusing to work with the Legislature and then creating problems that do not exist.”
Rather than calling a session himself, which he has the power to do, LePage seems to be requesting that the legislature take the first move. He claims that some of the bills were “improperly funded.”
“The bills in question are funded. Period,” said Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond. “The Executive Branch doesn’t have to like the way the bills are funded, but Gov. LePage is obligated to execute the laws passed by the Legislature. That is the way the powers are separated by the Maine Constitution. I cannot see why 186 lawmakers should return to Augusta – at a cost of $43,000 per day – just because Gov. LePage doesn’t want to do his job.”
Photo via Andi Parkinson.
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