Maine’s Republican Legislature Divided on LD 1066, Medicaid Expansion Bill

Posted on December 2, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NOTE: Continuing to dust off past posts regarding Maine Senate Minority Leader Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo), as news broke today that he is considering jumping into the GOP primary race for Mike Michaud’s open seat. Here is the clip linked below in the original write up.

*Related: “Maine Senate Floor Debate On Override Of LePage LD 1509 FY 14-15 Budget Veto (June 26 VIDEOS)”

(Originally posted 18 Jun 2013)

Last week saw a clear division among the 126th Legislature’s GOP caucus regarding whether or not to pass LD 1066, “An Act To Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding”, as Assistant Minority Leader Sen. Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) proposed a “sunset provision” amendment that passed that chamber by a 23-12 vote.

Rising to speak against the provision were Minority Leader Sen. Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo), Sen. Doug Thomas (R-Somerset) , Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) , Sen. Garrett Mason (R-Androscoggin) , Sen. David Burns (R-Washington) and Sen. Andre Cushing (R-Penobscot) .

Over in the House, Rep. Deb Sanderson (R-Chelsea) offered a second amendment to the bipartisan Senate approved bill, adding a $100 million dollar fiscal note that was indefinitely postponed by a 88-61 vote.

From her prepared testimony: (shortened dramatically, due to available working space on this post. ~AP)

    “I rise before you today and present an amendment to LD 1066. This amendment seeks to set a clear and distinct priority in our MaineCare program and ensure that its original mission of caring for those who cannot care for themselves is fulfilled….

    Today I speak for the people that we legislators, policy makers and budgeters have shoved into the shadows. Today I’d like to bring them out in the light for you to see. Yes, these are the 3100 people being forced to languish on a waitlist, not receiving essential services because we don’t have the fiscal discipline to make the choices that need to be made in order to fund the care they need… not want… need. Some have been on this list for years….

    This amendment tried to rectify the abuses committed by the legislature and asks that you vote to insist that they begin receiving services by July 1 of THIS year….

    Yes, it will be expensive. This amendment carries a fiscal note of almost $100 million dollars over the upcoming biennium….”

Her colleague Rep. Heather Sirocki (R-Scarborough) rose to speak in support of the amendment:

Then Minority Leader Rep Ken Fredette (R-Newport) spoke in strong opposition, not just to the amendment but to the Medicaid expansion bill as well.

(Later, Fredette would rise again to speak infamously out against the expansion- but, we’ve already covered THAT today!)

Asst Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan) then moved to indefinitely postpone the LD 1066 amendment.

When the House took the bill up again, as amended previously by Asst Minority Leader Senator Roger Katz (R-Kennebec), the vote results revealed some modest gains for the expansion, with 97 voting for enactment.

As expected, Governor LePage vetoed LD 1066 on Monday (now the second time he has vetoed Medicaid expansion), so now it awaits more votes in the Legislature.

Currently, House Majority Leader Seth Berry has moved for the bill to be tabled until later today (June 18) pending reconsideration.

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Veto Day Scorecard (UPDATED W/ FINAL RESULTS) : 2 Overridden, Rest Sustained

Posted on July 9, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Photo taken after end of session by Rep. Scott Hamann (D-S Portland)

Photo taken after end of session by Rep. Scott Hamann (D-S Portland)

11:30 AM UPDATE: One of the first votes in the House was on LD 1572, “An Act To Correct Minor Technical Errors and Inconsistencies in the Unified Budget Bill”. It failed to pass that chamber by a 92-50 total vote (9 absent); among those who flipped their vote was House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport).

It later passed the Senate (3 PM) by a 24-9-2 (Senators Craven and Millett are absent today) vote and will go back to the House this evening.

4:30 PM: So far, only 4 vetoes have been overridden: LDs 415, 1132, 1263 and 1390 (see below).

UPDATE: By the end of the evening and conclusion of the session, only LDs 415 and 1132 were overridden in both chambers, of the 31 vetoes taken up by legislators.

With this being “Veto Day” in Augusta, it seemed a good idea to put together a list of those bills coming up before the Legislature today- as results become known, this post will be updated.

House Vetoes:

    1. LD 161, “An Act to Restrict a Health Insurance Carrier to Rating on the Basis of One Geographical Area”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 85-55.

    2. LD 225, “An Act To Restore Consumer Rate Review for Health Insurance Plans in the Individual Market”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 89-53.

    3. LD 487, “Resolve, To Establish MaineCare Eligibility for Young Adults Who Were Formerly in Foster Care”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 87-54.

    4. LD 611, “An Act To Adjust Maine’s Minimum Wage Annually Based on Cost-of-living Changes”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 89-54.

    5. LD 828, “An Act To Improve the Administration of the Child Care Subsidy Program and To Prevent Erroneous Termination of Child Care Services”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 90-52.

    6. LD 1046, “An Act Providing for the Prescribing and Administering of Naloxone”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 91-52.

    7. LD 1057, “An Act Related to the Public Funding of Charter Schools”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 89-54.

    8. LD 1069, “An Act To Provide Flexibility in the State Prevailing Wage and Benefit Rates”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 76-51.

    9. LD 1198, “An Act To Protect Earned Pay”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 89-52.

    10. LD 1259, “Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 17: Rules Regarding Proof of Ownership and Recruitment by Employers Employing Foreign Laborers To Operate Logging Equipment, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Labor”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 86-55.

    11. LD 1263, “An Act To Increase Funding for the Snowmobile Trail Fund and Adjust the Sales Tax Relating to Snowmobiles and Trail-grooming Equipment”


    12. LD 1362, “Resolve, Relating to the Review of Risks Associated with Tar Sands Oil”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 91-52.

    13. LD 1383, “An Act To Improve the Delivery of Early Child Care and Education Services”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 89-53.

    14. LD 1390, “An Act Regarding the Cancellation of Subscription Services”


    15. LD 1486, “An Act To Reduce the Use of Hospital Emergency Departments for Preventable Oral Health Conditions”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 87-52.

    16. LD 1543, “Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 3: Maine Clean Election Act and Related Provisions”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 97-45.

Senate Vetoes:

    1. LD 236, “An Act To Protect the Privacy of Citizens from Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Use”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 18-15.

    2. LD 415, “An Act To Require a Warrant To Obtain the Location Information of a Cell Phone or Other Electronic Device”

      VETO OVERRIDDEN: 22-11 (SENATE); 125-17 (HOUSE).

    3. LD 443, “An Act To Amend the Maine Workers’ Compensation Act of 1992 To Provide Benefits to Seriously Injured Workers”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 17-16.

    4. LD 703, “An Act To Make Post-conviction Possession of Animals a Criminal Offense”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 18-15.

    5. LD 745, “An Act To Promote Sustainable Food Policies”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 18-15.

    6. LD 890, “An Act to Buy American-made Products”

    7. LD 1103, “An Act To Encourage Development in the Logging Industry”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 18-15.

    8. LD 1129, “An Act To Promote Innovation in Public Schools”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 18-15.

    9. LD 1132, “An Act To Achieve Economic Growth by Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education and To Meet Workforce Needs”

      VETO OVERRIDDEN: 22-11 (SENATE), 110-30 (HOUSE).

    10. LD 1181, “An Act to Further Strengthen the Protection of Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 19-14.

    11. LD 1232, “An Act To Maintain the Integrity of the Fund for a Healthy Maine”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 18-15.

    12. LD 1235, “An Act Regarding School Construction”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 18-15.

    13. LD 1259, “Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 17: Rules Regarding Proof of Ownership and Recruitment by Employers Employing Foreign Laborers To Operate Logging Equipment, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Labor”

    14. LD 1282, “An Act To Help Small Farmers in Selling Raw Milk and Homemade Food Products”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 17-16.

    15. LD 1533, “An Act To Amend the Maine Online Learning Program”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 17-16.

    16. LD 1573, “An Act To Extend the Authorization for the Maine Education Effectiveness Council”

      VETO SUSTAINED: 18-15.
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Maine Governor Paul LePage Vetoes LD 1546, Medicaid Expansion Bill (Video)

Posted on May 24, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

At a Hall of Flags ceremony surrounded by GOP legislators, Governor LePage on Thursday signed the letter to veto LD 1546, characterizing LD 1546, “An Act to Strengthen Maine Hospitals, Increase Access to Health Care and Provide for a New Spirits Contract,” as “tied payment of the hospital debt to welfare expansion” and then announced plans to reintroduce his own bill in its place.

    “Democrat leadership has spent the past week forcing this bill through the legislative process, over the objections of Republicans and Democrats alike. This unadulterated partisanship tied two different issues together in a quest to force welfare expansion upon the Maine people. I have said all along this bill would receive a veto when it reached my desk, so this letter should be no surprise.

    That is why I have filed a Governor’s bill today reflecting the parts of LD 1546 we all agree on—paying the hospitals and ensuring the liquor business provides the best return for the state—without the forced expansion of MaineCare. The Legislature will have the opportunity to vote up or down to pay the hospitals—I trust you will do the right thing.”

Press secretary Adrienne Bennett provided copies to the press of the letter the Governor read.

lepage veto lettr

The governor then informed those assembled of his plans to continue to hold the voter-approved bonds hostage unless his bill is passed through the Legislature, in what a press release categorized “a gesture of good faith”:

    The Governor also directed the State Treasurer to prepare the voter-authorized bonds for his signature. “I will sign them as soon as this new Governor’s Bill is enacted,” the Governor stated.
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