In what is certainly a win for the people of Maine, their State Supreme Court declined to allow the untimely veto of laws passed by their elected representatives. Not believing in the concept of majority rule, their extremist right-wing governor, one Paul LePage, had made all the campaign promises now so typical from Tea Party candidates and swore to undo 65 specific laws passed by the legislature. All of the Justices signing the court opinion agreed that Gov. LePage had simply failed to timely do what he had promised.
The governor’s planned blitzkrieg against the people’s duly enacted laws was directed at all the usual right-wing targets – medical organizations, the ACLU, the environment and the poor. His veto plans hit a snag, however, when he failed to follow the well-established and time-honored deadlines for taking such drastic executive action. Even after missing the deadline, the governor continued to push the point, refusing to enforce the laws he was sworn to uphold and instead bringing legal action which resulted in this court ruling. In the end, he tried to veto 65 of 81 bills on his desk, but he failed.
Among the laws caught up in the governor’s veto debacle were bills that were designed to help senior citizens and their caregivers. One law (LD 86) was an Act to Improve Retirement Security for Retired Public Employees. Fortunately for Maine’s citizens, the law will now provide a Cost-of-Living adjustment of 2.55% on the portion of the retirement benefit up to $20,000 for 2015 to 2017. The people of Maine were not as fortunate when the Republicans in their legislature managed to sustain the governor’s veto of a bill that would have required him to release funds from more than $11 Million in voter-approved bonds for environmental protection and remediation projects. Maine Republicans don’t care about the environment, the law, or the voters.