Why LePage and Legislature will definitely clash on land bonds in January

Maine_state_capitolWhile Gov. LePage refuses to sell Land for Maine Future bonds supported by the Maine people, he’s freed a much smaller amount of funds currently on hand.

But let’s not forget that the Legislature’s effort to force him to do his duty — to issue the bonds Maine people want issued — is not yet done.

LD1454 was passed on the last day of the session in July and is currently being held by the governor. He has three days after the Legislature convenes in January 2016 to veto it.

Now, keep in mind that LD 1378 was the first attempt to release these bonds. The House sustainted the Governor’s veto. On the same day, following the defeat of LD 1378, the legislature amended LD 1454 and enacted it.

On LD 1378, six House Republicans voted for ensuring the governor can’t hold the bonds but then changed their votes. That left the bill without the 2/3 needed to override a coming veto.

Who are the House members who changed their votes?

As George Smith wrote after the July vote:

Many readers asked for the names of the six House Republicans who changed their votes and killed Senator Roger Katz’s bill yesterday that would have allowed the Land for Maine’s Future bonds to be sold without the Governor’s approval. And now I’m going to give you those names. . .Yes, these six voted for it, before they voted against it. That may (should) be hard to explain. . .

Here are the six House Republicans who changed their votes on LD 1378:

Bruce Bickford of Auburn

Stacey Guerin of Glenburn

Jeff Pierce of Dresden

Tom Skolfield of Weld

Michael Timmons of Cumberland

Steve Wood of Greene.

However, these House members (and others) could still change their mind and vote for LD 1454 in January, which would require Gov. LePage to issue the bonds supported by the Maine people.


Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.