One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Legislature

Second Regular Session

 

Advance Journal and Calendar


Michael D. Thibodeau
Senate President

 

 

 

 

http://legislature.maine.gov/senate


Heather J.R. Priest

Secretary of the Senate

 

38th Legislative Day

 

In Senate Chamber, Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

 

Senate called to Order by President Michael D. Thibodeau of Waldo County.

 

Prayer by Senator Geoffrey Gratwick of Penobscot.

 

Pledge of Allegiance led by Senator Michael E. Carpenter of Aroostook County.

 

Reading of the Journal of Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

 

 

Doctor of the day, Amy Madden, M.D. of Rome.

 

 

_________________________________

 

 


 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

(2-1)  The Following Communication:

S.C. 1032

 

STATE OF MAINE

128TH LEGISLATURE

 

May 1, 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, ME 04333

 

Dear Senate and House Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Pursuant to SP 747, the Legislature will reconvene on May 2, 2018 at 10:00 in the morning for the purpose of considering objections of the Governor, in accordance with 3 MRSA, Section 2.

 

Following action by both Chambers on the Governor’s objections, the Legislature may, by a vote of 2/3 of the members of each House present and voting, extend the date for adjournment for the Second Regular Session.

 

During the 108th Legislature the Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion dated July 15, 1977 stating that the Legislature may vote to extend a session by a 2/3 vote pursuant to 3 MRSA Section 2 even after the statutory day of adjournment. This includes passing an extension order on the same day the Legislature is in to consider objections of the Governor. 

 

Should the 128th Legislature vote to extend the Second Regular Session, additional business including unfinished bills in the Chambers may be taken up.  If an extension order does not garner 2/3 support, we anticipate that the Second Regular Session will adjourn sine die.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Michael D. Thibodeau                                                                        S/Sara Gideon

President of the Senate                                                                          Speaker of the House

 

 

 

_________________________________

 

 

 

 


 

(2-2)  The Following Communication:

S.C. 1024

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

AUGUSTA, MAINE

 

25 April 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, ME

 

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1771, “An Act to Stabilize Vulnerable Families.”

 

While the intentions of this bill are good, I cannot in good conscience let this bill become law. I have two primary objections. First, this bill is yet another example of the Legislature stepping in to require things of the Executive Branch that it can already do. This bill requires DHHS to seek proposals and implement a program to provide integrated substance abuse treatment and recovery for families, which can be done within the administrative authority that exists today. There is no need for a bill.

 

Second, I believe we sometimes race too quickly to reunify a child with his or her family when that may not be what is best for the child, and I am concerned this bill perpetuates that trend. The best place for children is in a safe, loving home with their parents; that said, child welfare programs in our State and nation have over-emphasized reunification, sometimes to the detriment of our youth. Children should be reunified with their parents only when that reunification is in the best interest of the child. We have dealt with several significant child welfare cases in the past few months, and I believe that some tragedy may have been avoided if we had first focused on the welfare of the child and only considered reunification if it was truly the best and safest option for the child. 

 

I am concerned the program imagined by this bill will serve once again to inappropriately prioritize reunification over the welfare of the child. For these reasons, I return LD 1771 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

_________________________________

 

            (2-3)    The accompanying Bill "An Act To Stabilize Vulnerable Families"

S.P. 658  L.D. 1771

_________________________________


 

(2-4)  The Following Communication:

S.C. 1025

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

AUGUSTA, MAINE

 

 

23 April 2018

 

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, ME

 

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 166, “An Act To Increase Reimbursement for Child Care Services.”

 

In 2016, the Department provided subsidies for over 9,000 children from over 5,600 families through the Child Care Subsidy program and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Maine has the flexibility to determine the appropriate percentile for reimbursement. Currently, Maine is among the top 10 states for reimbursement of child care providers based on the actual dollar amount of monthly reimbursement paid to families, and only South Dakota and West Virginia reimburse child care providers at the 75th percentile of current market rates as proposed by this bill. Passage of this bill will serve to push up market rates for child care for everyone.

 

In addition, Maine is already one of the five most generous states when it comes to eligibility limits for the subsidy – a family can earn more than 250% of the Federal Poverty Level and still qualify for a subsidy. The Department estimates that this increase would cost nearly $10 million dollars. Maine already has a generous child care subsidy and we do not need a new law to increase it even further.

 

For these reasons, I return LD 166 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

_________________________________

 

            (2-5)    The accompanying Bill "An Act To Increase Reimbursement for Child Care Services"

S.P. 58  L.D. 166

_________________________________

(2-6)  The Following Communication:

S.C. 1026

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

AUGUSTA, MAINE

 

 

23 April 2018

 

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine
State House
Augusta, Maine

 

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1740, “An Act Regarding Criminal Forced Labor, Aggravated Criminal Forced Labor, Sex Trafficking and Human Trafficking.”

 

LD 1740 seeks to create a new violation of “criminal forced labor” by attaching substantial criminal liability to a wide variety of conduct undertaken to compel a person to provide services or labor. The bill further provides a civil cause of action for victims of this behavior and initiates a public awareness campaign around the issue of human trafficking. 

 

I support efforts to combat forced labor and human trafficking. These are reprehensible acts.  However, there are numerous problems with LD 1740. First, some of the acts criminalized by this bill should not be crimes at all. I find it hypocritical and disingenuous the Legislature’s action on this bill, while also failing to act to criminalize the mutilation of Maine’s young girls. Second, many acts falling within LD 1740 are already prohibited by Maine statutes. Third, LD 1740 provides for heightened liability for minors, but once again sets a non-uniform age of majority. Fourth, this bill imposes yet another mandate on governmental agencies and businesses without providing funding. Finally, this bill imposes civil monetary liability on certain Maine businesses without adequately identifying to which businesses this liability applies.

 

First, enactment of LD 1740 makes criminal some activities that should not be crimes.  Consider the following examples:

 

·         An employer who confiscates alcohol from an alcoholic employee at the beginning of the work day. That employer refuses to return the bottle until the end of the job, demanding a sober day’s work in exchange for the day’s pay. Under LD 1740, the employer may face Class C liability.

·         A cigarette shop owner handed what purports to be a government identification document, but which the shop owner suspects is fake. The uneasy young patron furnishing the ID takes flight and knocks over a display in the store. The shop owner then offers to accept restitution so long as the patron reorganizes the mess in exchange for the return of the ID and not calling the police. Under LD 1740, the shop owner may face substantial criminal liability.

Second, the following statutes already prohibit conduct substantially similar to that described in LD 1740:

1.      17-A M.R.S.A § 357 provides criminal liability for theft where one deprives a person of payment after using deception, threats, force, or otherwise causing another person to provide labor or services.   

 

2.      17-A M.R.S.A. § 301 provides criminal liability for kidnapping where threats of violence are made to cause a victim to perform labor or services, or where withholding or destroying immigration or identification documents is used as a tool to control a victim. 

 

3.      To the extent the labor conduct of the person forced to perform it is criminal, 17-A M.R.S.A. § 57 provides for accomplice liability of the one forcing that person to engage in such acts.

 

Third, LD 1740 defines the undertaking of the prohibited conduct against a person under the age of 18 as aggravated criminal forced labor. This Legislature recently raised to 21 the age at which individuals can buy cigarettes. If this Legislature believes that anyone under 21 is not adult enough to purchase cigarettes, they should treat people under 21 as children for all other purposes and offer criminal enhancements for actions taken against them.

 

Fourth, this bill provides an unfunded mandate that the Department of Labor create and provide to the Department of Transportation, the Maine Turnpike Authority and businesses in the state signs to promote public awareness of human trafficking. The bill, again without providing funding, then directs that these signs are to be posted conspicuously at rest areas, highway stops and businesses. The Legislature’s repeated attempts to spend money without providing funding is an abdication of their responsibilities. 

 

Finally, businesses failing to post signage in regards to human trafficking are subject to a $300 fine per violation. In order to assure that these businesses have the opportunity to comply, it is incumbent upon the Legislature to identify with understandable specificity exactly which businesses must post signage. Maine law already mandates employers post nine posters and recommends five more; the federal government requires another six. Too many workplace posters not only makes it harder for workers to find the information they need about employment rights, but also dilutes the messages of all such posters. I also question the efficacy of business signage to address the serious issues this bill seeks to remedy, and that the same sign for a business would carry the appropriate message for rest areas.

 

For these reasons, I return LD 1740 unsigned and vetoed.  I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage
Governor

_________________________________

 

            (2-7)    The accompanying Bill “An Act Regarding Criminal Forced Labor, Aggravated Criminal Forced Labor, Sex Trafficking and Human Trafficking”

S.P. 639  L.D. 1740

_________________________________

(2-8)  The Following Communication:

S.C. 1027

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

AUGUSTA, MAINE

20 April 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine
State House
Augusta, Maine

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1388, “An Act To Prohibit the Falsification of Medical Records.”

 

Healthcare records are relied upon by healthcare professionals to make decisions that can mean the difference between life and death. False entries in a healthcare record can and will alter the decision-making process of doctors with potentially fatal consequences for patients. As a result, the integrity of healthcare records is of the utmost importance. 

 

Extremely sick or injured patients find themselves in an incredibly vulnerable state. They may even be unable to communicate or comprehend what is happening at the moment. They are not in a position to ensure their records are accurate at precisely the time that an inaccuracy could lead to disaster. Instead, patients place their entire trust in the people who care for them during their time of need.

 

Intentional falsification of records to cover up medical errors or to avoid reporting in the prescription monitoring program is a breach of that trust. This breach would not come to the attention of the patient, or their next of kin, until damage resulting from that breach is already done. This sort of behavior by a healthcare provider must be treated as a serious crime.

 

A healthcare provider who intentionally falsifies medical records for the purpose of deceiving another person should know that serious injury, or even death, are the reasonably foreseeable consequences of these actions. In other statutes where death or serious bodily injury are reasonably foreseeable consequences of one’s actions, penalties are higher.  For example, felony murder is a Class A crime. Manslaughter provides for Class A criminal liability where one’s reckless activity results in death. Kidnapping provides for Class A criminal liability where one’s actions expose another to risk of serious bodily injury. Yet LD 1388 provides only Class C liability for intentional acts that, in fact, result in serious injury. 

 

The penalty for falsification of healthcare records where the result is serious injury, or worse, should be classified as more serious crime than a Class C offense. 

 

For this reason, I return LD 1388 unsigned and vetoed.  I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage
Governor

_________________________________

 

            (2-9)    The accompanying Bill "An Act To Prohibit the Falsification of Medical Records"

S.P. 475  L.D. 1388

_________________________________


 

(2-10)  The Following Communication:

S.C. 1029

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

AUGUSTA, MAINE

 

30 April 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, ME

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1507, “An Act to Establish a Student Loan Bill of Rights To Regulate Student Loan Servicers.”

                                                              

Student loans are issued by educational loan servicers that are authorized to do so by the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Student Loan Program and other federal laws. States that have attempted to regulate activities of educational loan servicers at the state level are now having to defend themselves against federal preemption charges. I do not intend to sign a bill that will likely be the subject of federal litigation at great expense to the State of Maine. 

 

Not only does LD 1507 invite expensive legal challenges, it fails to address the real issue—the excessively high cost of secondary education. It only adds more bureaucratic regulation in the name of public protection. Maine does not need another licensing requirement that increases paperwork without providing any tangible benefit. LD 1507 is nothing more than an electioneering bill at a time when our students need a pragmatic approach to student loan debt.  

 

My bill, LD 1834, proposes a 50-million-dollar bond issuance that will provide funds to the Finance Authority of Maine to make zero-percent-interest student loans and allow loan consolidation or refinancing with interest-rate reductions for Maine residents who agree to live and work in Maine for at least five years. 

 

The Legislature would be well advised to support the use of the bond process to generate funds that would help students pay for their college educations by providing low cost, no interest loans.

 

For these reasons, I return LD 1507 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

_________________________________

 

            (2-11)              The accompanying Bill “An Act to Establish a Student Loan Bill of Rights To Regulate Student Loan Servicers

S.P. 532  L.D. 1507

_________________________________


 

(2-12)  The Following Communication:

S.C. 1030

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

AUGUSTA, MAINE

 

 

30 April 2018

 

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, ME

 

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1743, “An Act To Increase the Number of Agency Liquor Store Licenses in Larger Municipalities.”

In my view, the bill is a short-term fix to the statutorily mandated population standards that allocate the number of agency store liquor licenses available in a municipality. The bill, as drafted, would only create an additional agency store liquor license for the City of Portland. The Legislature could have taken a longer-term view and reviewed the current population standards but instead opted for a short-term fix.

 

In addition, this bill appears to have been brought to the Legislature in an effort to grant a license to a single, Portland-based retailer. I do not believe the Legislature should be playing favorites.

 

For these reasons, I return LD 1743 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it. I also suggest that the Legislature review the current population standards.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

_________________________________

 

 

            (2-13)              The accompanying Bill “An Act To Increase the Number of Agency Liquor Store Licenses in Larger Municipalities”

S.P. 642  L.D. 1743

 

 

_________________________________


 

(2-14)  The Following Communication:

S.C. 1031

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

AUGUSTA, MAINE

 

30 April 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, ME

 

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1745, “An Act To Establish the Wood Energy Program.”

 

This emergency bill creates a non-lapsing fund to establish incentives as well as low-interest and no-interest loans to the State’s forest-products sector. The bill further charges Efficiency Maine with running the programs with advice from FAME. To create the fund, the bill directs the PUC to remand any unused funds remaining from the biomass Cost Recovery Fund to Efficiency Maine. The Cost Recovery fund was created when $13.4 million was transferred from the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund. The bill’s fiscal note estimates a total of $766,000 over two years will be transferred to Efficiency Maine to run the programs. 

 

Rather than returning funds back to the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund for use across the State, this Act directs funds to subsidize a particular industry.  While I am sensitive to the needs of the biomass industry, I do not believe that subsidies through incentives and low- and no-interest loans will drive electricity costs down for all ratepayers. Furthermore, this bill assumes that exactly $500,000 will be available from the PUC’s next review of the Cost Recovery Fund before the review has even happened.

 

This bill is another example of the Legislature trying to redirect funds to favored industries, create subsidies, and substitute its judgement for that of expert regulatory bodies. For these reasons, I return LD 1745 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.  

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

_________________________________

 

 

            (2-15)              The accompanying Bill "An Act To Establish the Wood Energy Program" (EMERGENCY)

S.P. 644  L.D. 1745

_________________________________ STATE OF MAINE

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE

SECOND REGULAR SESSION

SENATE ADVANCED JOURNAL AND CALENDAR

 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

 

SUPPLEMENT NO. 15

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

(2-1)  The Following Communication:

H.C. 520

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

1 STATE HOUSE STATION

AUGUSTA, MAINE  04333-0001

April 20, 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, Maine

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1848, "An Act To Extend Arrearage Management Programs".

 

This bill extends programs at CMP and Emera which help low income residential customers clear up amounts they owe to both T&D utilities to September 30, 2021.  Despite the bill's good intentions, the data shows that the program didn't work, and that efforts to fix it will likely add cost and not benefit.

 

The PUC testimony on the Arrearage Management Program (AMP) states:  "The Commission does not believe that the desired outcome of improved payment performance during and after participation in an AMP by customers can be achieved with the current AMP structure and that extending the program another three years will not change this conclusion."  Participating customers' bill payment patterns did not improve after their participation in the program, and were not substantively different or better than bill payment patterns of customers that did not participate in the program.  While this bill changes the expired program by adding financial and budgetary guidance for participants, adding these changes will likely only increase the administrative costs of the program.

 

This bill is another example of the legislature trying to insert itself where it does not belong and substitute its judgement for that of expert regulatory bodies.  For these reasons, I return LD 1848 unsigned and vetoed.  I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

_________________________________

_________________________________

 

(2-2)    The accompanying Bill "An Act To Extend Arrearage Management Programs"

H.P. 1285  L.D. 1848

 

 

Comes from the House with the VETO OVERRIDDEN, notwithstanding the objections of the Governor.

 

_________________________________

(2-3)  The Following Communication:

H.C. 522

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

1 STATE HOUSE STATION

AUGUSTA, MAINE  04333-0001

 

April 23, 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, Maine

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1187, "An Act To Amend the Child Protective Services Statutes."

 

Nothing in my role as Governor is a higher priority than the safety of our children. While I am sure the authors of this bill share my concern for our children's safety, I believe this bill may have serious unintended consequences. The changes in this bill prioritizes kinship placements in a way that may not necessarily be in the best interest of the child. 

 

The Department of Health and Human Services is currently investigating the horrific death of a child who was in a kinship placement. The Department already places a priority on placement with kin and will continue to do so, as long as the placement is believed to be in the best interest of the child. Maine is currently above the national average for kinship placements.

 

While well-intentioned, this bill prioritizes the rights of relatives over the best interest of a child, as it makes a predetermined judgment that a relative placement out of state or after a long vetting process better serves the child than expeditious placement of a child in a safe and loving home. The State must retain the flexibility to prioritize kinship placements only when it is truly in the best interest of the child. 

 

For these reasons, I return LD 1187 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

_________________________________

 

 

_________________________________

 

 

 

(2-4)    The accompanying Bill "An Act To Amend the Child Protective Services Statutes"

H.P. 824  L.D. 1187

 

 

Comes from the House with the VETO OVERRIDDEN, notwithstanding the objections of the Governor.

 

_________________________________

 

 


 

(2-5)  The Following Communication:

H.C. 523

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

1 STATE HOUSE STATION

AUGUSTA, MAINE  04333-0001

 

April 23, 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, Maine

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1756, "An Act To Allow The Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Governor Baxter School for the Deaf To Lease Space to Maine's Protection and Advocacy Agency for Persons with Disabilities."

 

In my view, allowing the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing ("MECDHH") to enter into a lease with Disability Rights Maine ("DRM") would violate the spirit of the deed of gift from Governor Percival Baxter. Governor Baxter's gift of property on Mackworth Island outlined that the property be used for educational purposes for children, not to be leased to third parties.

 

In addition, a lease with DRM would require that the facility comply with all federal and state laws to protect and accommodate persons with disabilities. This will require a significant capital investment to bring the facility into compliance—an investment beyond the limited financial resources of the MECDHH. Without an estimate of the required improvements included in the fiscal note, it is unknown whether the rent would cover the cost of the renovations in addition to the regular facility costs.

 

For these reasons, I return LD 1756 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

 

 

_________________________________

 

_________________________________

 

 

 

(2-6)    The accompanying Bill "An Act To Allow The Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Governor Baxter School for the Deaf To Lease Space to Maine's Protection and Advocacy Agency for Persons with Disabilities" (EMERGENCY)

H.P. 1209  L.D. 1756

 

 

Comes from the House with the VETO OVERRIDDEN, notwithstanding the objections of the Governor.

 

_________________________________

 

 


 

(2-7)  The Following Communication:

H.C. 525

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

1 STATE HOUSE STATION

AUGUSTA, MAINE  04333-0001

 

April 25, 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, Maine

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1874, "Resolve, To Ensure the Continued Provision of Services to Maine Children and Families."

 

This bill sets inappropriate limitations on the ability of the Executive to manage, enter, and exit specific contracts. Without appropriate flexibility, the team at DHHS is left with little ability to ensure a contractor meets basic performance expectations.

 

Regarding the specific contracts in question, the legislature's meddling is completely unnecessary and inappropriate. The Department has already engaged in conversations with the providers to further extend the contracts and to determine what aspects of these services fulfill unmet needs and should continue to be ongoing.

 

It is the responsibility of the State to provide adequate and appropriate services, but also that the services we pay for are of the highest quality, are not duplicative, and are absolutely necessary for the wellbeing of Mainers. This proposed resolve interferes with the ability to meet those goals.

 

For these reasons, I return LD 1874 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

 

 

_________________________________

 

 

 

 

_________________________________

 

 

 

(2-8)    The accompanying Resolve, To Ensure the Continued Provision of Services to Maine Children and Families (EMERGENCY)

H.P. 1307  L.D. 1874

 

 

Comes from the House with the VETO OVERRIDDEN, notwithstanding the objections of the Governor.

 

_________________________________

 

 


 

(2-9)  The Following Communication:

H.C. 526

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

1 STATE HOUSE STATION

AUGUSTA, MAINE  04333-0001

 

April 25, 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, Maine

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1892, "An Act to Clarify the Prescribing and Dispensing of Naloxone Hydrochloride by Pharmacists."

 

LD 1892 is an effort to undermine the Maine Board of Pharmacy's efforts to adopt reasonable rules—grounded in public safety—for when and to whom licensed pharmacists may prescribe and dispense naloxone. The bill effectively negates the need for pharmacy rules on this subject because it would allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense naloxone without limitation to anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances. This bill makes any reasonable rule unnecessary. Is this sound public policy? The simple answer is no.

 

No health policy rationale supports the extreme position espoused by the Legislature that every resident of Maine, including children, must have access to naloxone. This bill reflects a lack of understanding about effective ways to reduce deaths resulting from opioid overdose. The Legislature must be under the mistaken impression that deaths from opioid overdose cannot be reduced unless naloxone is provided to anyone and everyone. That will not be the case.

 

Maine is fortunate, however, to have many licensed pharmacists who will use their experience and professional judgment to determine when and to whom to dispense naloxone. They don't need the Legislature's permission to make professional decisions.  Licensed pharmacists will do the right thing under the rules promulgated by their oversight body, the Pharmacy Board.

 

For these reasons, I return LD 1892 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

 

 

_________________________________

 

_________________________________

 

 

 

(2-10)              The accompanying Bill "An Act To Clarify the Prescribing and Dispensing of Naloxone Hydrochloride by Pharmacists" (EMERGENCY)

H.P. 1325  L.D. 1892

 

 

Comes from the House with the VETO OVERRIDDEN, notwithstanding the objections of the Governor.

 

_________________________________

 

 

(2-11)  The Following Communication:

H.C. 528

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

1 STATE HOUSE STATION

AUGUSTA, MAINE  04333-0001

April 27, 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, Maine

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1719, "An Act To Implement a Regulatory Structure for Adult Use Marijuana."

 

Under federal law, marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance. As a Schedule 1 drug, the federal government has deemed that marijuana has a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. In Maine, doctors cannot legally prescribe marijuana to patients; they only "certify" its use. Possession of any amount of marijuana under federal law is a misdemeanor crime. In 2011, I took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and I cannot in good conscience support a law that, on its face, violates federal law.

 

Even if federal law were of no concern, there are other significant issues that must be addressed. This bill does not adequately address the failings of the medical marijuana program. It moved the oversight of the program from DHHS to DAFS, but then fails to truly integrate the two programs. The drafters of this bill chose to largely ignore the significant effects on medical marijuana of a recreational program—a program that still has different levels of regulatory oversight and a different tax structure. 

 

As I have stated previously, a concurrent medical program with weaker regulation and a lower tax rate will undermine the regulations established by this bill. The two programs must be fully integrated. In the run-up to the 2016 referendum, the medical program saw a significant increase in the number of registered caregivers, as well as the exploitation of loopholes in medical marijuana regulations to broaden the sales base for medical marijuana, which has a much lower tax rate.

 

The need for policymakers to get this issue correct has never been higher. As this administration looked to other states that have legalized adult-use marijuana, we noticed a gruesome similarity. In the few short years since marijuana has been legalized by some states, those same states have seen staggering increases in motor vehicle fatalities resulting from marijuana impairment. After one of the worst years in recent memory for crashes, fatalities, and pedestrian fatalities, we should take every step to ensure safety on Maine roads instead of making them more hazardous. No branch of government has a monopoly on good ideas; if Maine is going to legalize and regulate marijuana, it will require our joint efforts to get this important issue right.

 

For these reasons, I return LD 1719 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

 

_________________________________

 

_________________________________

 

 

 

(2-12)              The accompanying Bill "An Act To Implement a Regulatory Structure for Adult Use Marijuana" (EMERGENCY)

H.P. 1199  L.D. 1719

 

 

Comes from the House with the VETO OVERRIDDEN, notwithstanding the objections of the Governor.

 

_________________________________

 

(2-13)  The Following Communication:

H.C. 532

 

STATE OF MAINE

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

1 STATE HOUSE STATION

AUGUSTA, MAINE  04333-0001

 

April 30, 2018

 

The 128th Legislature of the State of Maine

State House

Augusta, Maine

 

Dear Honorable Members of the 128th Legislature:

 

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1907, "Resolve, To Continue a Review of the State Employee and Teacher Retirement Plan."

 

This resolve directs the Maine Public Employees Retirement System, the Administration, and other stakeholders to continue working to evaluate and design new retirement plan options for all state employees and teachers.

 

The working group has completed its mission by drafting a report that assesses possible retirement plan options. Maine does not need yet another task force to study a problem that has already been addressed and certainly does not rise to the level of an emergency measure.

 

Furthermore, this resolve is yet another unfunded mandate.  It not only burdens MPERS and the Administration with continuing an unnecessary study, but also requires both organizations to procure the funding necessary to pay for it.

 

I agree that state pension reform is needed. I have worked throughout my administration to shore up our state's pension system and more remains to be done. However, it is ultimately the Legislature and the Governor that will decide what shape such reform should take. We do not need another report to address an issue we know all too well.

 

For these reasons, I am returning LD 1907 unsigned and vetoed.  I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.

 

Sincerely,

 

S/Paul R. LePage

Governor

 

 

_________________________________

 

_________________________________

 

 

 

(2-14)              The accompanying Resolve, To Continue a Review of the State Employee and Teacher Retirement Plan (EMERGENCY)

H.P. 1346  L.D. 1907

 

 

Comes from the House with the VETO OVERRIDDEN, notwithstanding the objections of the Governor.

 

_________________________________

 


 

STATE OF MAINE

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE

SECOND REGULAR SESSION

SENATE ADVANCED JOURNAL AND CALENDAR

 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

 

SUPPLEMENT NO. 30

 

 

 

ORDERS

 

 

On motion by Senator MASON of Androscoggin, the following Senate Order:

S.O. 29

 

Ordered, that a message be sent to Governor Paul R. LePage informing him that the Senate has transacted all business before it and is ready to Adjourn Without Day.

 

 

 

 

_________________________________

 

 

On motion by Senator MASON of Androscoggin, the following Senate Order:

S.O. 30

 

Ordered, that a message be sent to the House of Representatives informing that Body that the Senate is ready to Adjourn Without Day.

 

 

 

 

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