Sagadahoc County Reps. Jay McCreight and Denise Tepler have both weighed in on where the Maine House is headed on the Land for Maine’s Future bond issue. Following is a summary of what they have to report:
|UPDATE ON LAND FOR MAINE’S FUTURE: Governor’s Veto Sustained, New Bill EnactedLD 1378 Defeated
Introduced by Senator Katz (R-Kennebec County), LD 1378 would have limited the governor’s authority for withholding bonds to five fiscally-prudent reasons and prevented the chief executive from withholding voter-approved bonds for political reasons.
The governor is withholding, for the second time in three years, LMF bonds overwhelmingly ratified by voters in 2010 and 2012. Unissued bonds authorized in 2010 are set to expire this November.
Late Thursday, after the Senate overrode the governor’s veto by a vote of 25-9, House Republican leaders and the governor’s office staged an 11th-hour lobbying effort to flip Republican members who previously voted in favor of the legislation. Their mischaracterization of the bill led to the measure’s defeat. The veto was sustained by a vote of 91-52 – five votes short of an override.
The bill was originally approved 26-9 in the Senate and 102-48 in the House earlier this month.
LD 1454 Enacted
LMF supporters then turned to a second bill to address the administration’s unwillingness to make good on its commitments to the program and Maine voters. House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan) offered an amendment to LD 1454, which the governor introduced earlier in the day. The governor’s bill sought to extend the 2010 LMF for eight months, rather than the more customary five-year extension.
Rep. McCabe’s amendment deleted the governor’s original proposal and replaced it with a resolve that directs the governor and the LMF board to take the needed steps to issue the bonds authorized by voters in 2010. The full text is here.
The measure won initial House approval with a bipartisan vote of 90-52. It was enacted and sent to the governor’s desk later in the day.
LMF supporters anticipate a veto of LD 1454. Because the Legislature has adjourned for the session, the governor would have to until January 2016. Meanwhile, bonds approved by voters in November 2010 will expire in November if the governor does not borrow the funds over the next few months.
As part of a bipartisan effort, Rep. McCabe will introduce a bill in January to extend the 2010 LMF bonds for an additional five years. If successful, it will ensure the bonding authority continues until 2020.
DEMOCRATIC RADIO ADDRESS: Rep. Grohman: We’re not going to give up on Land for Maine’s Future (Audio Here)