Maine lawmakers override two vetoes by Gov. LePage

April 11th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

April 2

One bill would create a study group to improve the state’s response to child abuse and neglect.

By Eric Russell
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — Lawmakers voted Wednesday to overturn Gov. Paul LePage’s vetoes of two Democratic-led bills, including one that would create a study group to strengthen the state’s response to child abuse and neglect.

Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, said LePage’s veto of L.D. 1685 on Tuesday was “unfortunate and even shocking,” since it fell on the first day of April, which is Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in Maine.

The House vote to override the veto was 136-6; the Senate’s vote was 33-1.

In his veto letter, LePage said he doesn’t oppose improvements but doesn’t think a study group is needed because the Department of Health and Human Services’ staff is capable of doing the work.

“Not every solution needs to be a legislative enactment,” Le- Page wrote.

The House also overturned the governor’s veto of L.D. 1597, a bill to allow lawmakers and other elected officials to visit medical marijuana dispensaries and caregivers’ growing operations to learn more about those operations.

The bill had bipartisan support from the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee and in its initial House vote, but LePage vetoed it, writing in his veto letter that, “Most of those elected would not need specialized knowledge of medical marijuana to perform their job duties.”

Rep. Drew Gattine, D-Westbrook, the bill’s sponsor, said it is important for lawmakers to see firsthand what goes on in

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