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Maine Gov. Paul LePage May Have Accidentally Let 19 Bills He Opposed Become Law

Published by Huffington Post on Thu, 09 Jul 2015

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) may have botched his state's veto process, allowing 19 bills he was trying to kill to become law, according to reports. Bills not acted upon by the governor within 10 days are effectively vetoed if the legislaturehas adjourned, a process known as the "pocket veto."When the legislature is in session,bills not acted upon by the governor become law, and that's what opponents of the Republican governor say has happened. That means several bills that LePage opposed will become law, including one that would allow asylum seekers to receive state aid. The Portland Press Herald reports that the 19 bills are being written into lawby the nonpartisan office responsible for statutes.However, the governor's office insists the bills shouldn't become law because the legislature had indeed adjourned. The issue appears to be the meaning and context of the word "adjourned." The legislature routinely uses the word "adjourn" for a temporary recess and it does not always mean the final adjournment of a session, The Portland Press Herald reports. The state's House of Representativeseven uses the term "adjourn" at the end of each work day. The governor's office insists that the state legislature's use of the word "adjourn" to end its session on June 30means the adjournment rules are in effect and the billsshould be vetoed. I cant even process this right now, that this is his latest move, House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D) told the Bangor Daily News. Its very clear, as far as the role the governor has, when it comes to bills -- whether he signs them, not signs them or vetoes them. To hold them for an arbitrary period of time doesnt really work. He cant rewrite the rules." Along with the asylum bill, the new laws include an act that would prevent the shackling of pregnant prisoners, an act to ban e-cigarettes in many places that already have smoking bans and changes to the state's "spruce budworm management laws."The issue may have to be decided in court. Well go to the courts and well ask them, LePage told the Press Herald. Its in the Constitution . . . Its very clearvery, very clear. Even I can understand it and Im French. But opponents say what's clear this time is that LePagemessed up. Theres a huge hole in Gov. Paul LePages pocket, and a bunch of bills just fell through, handing his opponents and the Legislature huge victories, Democratic consultant David Farmer told the Bangor Daily News. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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