(UPDATED) Veto Day Score Card

Posted on April 28, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Not nearly as epic as last year’s list and hopefully less dramatic! A reminder that a 2/3s vote of members present in both legislative chambers is necessary to override the governor’s veto. Here goes:

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(HOUSE CALENDAR)

1. LD 365, “An Act To Provide a Tax Reduction for Modifications To Make a Home More Accessible for a Person with a Disability.” (House OVERRIDE, 148-0     Senate OVERRIDE, 34-0)

2. LD 419, “An Act To Establish the Summer Success Program Fund.”  (House SUSTAIN, 93-56) DEAD

3. LD 654, “An Act to Expand the 1998 Special Retirement Plan to Include Detectives in the Office of the Attorney General.” (House SUSTAIN, 96-53) DEAD

4. LD 655 “Resolve, To Provide the Engineering Study and Planning Needed for a Statewide, Centrally Located Emergency Services Training Facility and Several Regional Training Facilities.” (House SUSTAIN, 93-55) DEAD

5. LD 1279 “An Act To Authorize Advance Deposit Wagering for Horse Racing.” (House OVERRIDE, 120-29     Senate OVERRIDE, 23-11)

6. LD 1696, “Resolve, To Establish a Moratorium on Rate Changes Related to Rule Chapter 101: MaineCare Benefits Manual, Sections 13, 17, 28, and 65.” (House OVERRIDE, 101-45     Senate OVERRIDE, 28-6) 

7. LD 1514, “An Act To Conform Maine Law to the Requirements of the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.” (Senate SUSTAIN, 20-14) DEAD

8. LD 1498, “An Act To Clarify Medicaid Ombudsman Services.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 29-5     House OVERRIDE, 118-28)

9. LD 1465, “Resolve, To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Conduct a Study of Ambulance Services.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 33-1     House 139-10)

10. LD 1689, “An Act To Protect Children in the State from Possible Sexual, Physical and Emotional Abuse by Persons Who Have Been Convicted of Crimes.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 29-5    House 100-49)

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11. LD 1649, “An Act To Modernize Maine’s Solar Power Policy and Encourage Economic Development.” (House SUSTAIN, 96-52) DEAD 

12. LD 1253, “An Act To Improve the Evaluation of Elementary and Secondary Schools.” (House OVERRIDE, 112-31     Senate OVERRIDE, 33-1)

13. LD 1675, “Resolve, To Create the Task Force on Public-private Partnerships To Support Public Education.” (House OVERRIDE, 137-12     Senate OVERRIDE, 30-4)

14. LD 1394, “An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Commission To Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula.” (House SUSTAIN, 95-52) DEAD

15. LD 1489, “An Act To Clarify Expenditures Regarding Androscoggin County.” (House SUSTAIN, 87-61) DEAD

16. LD 1547, “An Act To Facilitate Access to Naloxone Hydrochloride.” (House OVERRIDE, 132-14     Senate OVERRIDE, 29-5)

17. LD 1552, “An Act To Reduce Morbidity and Mortality Related to Injected Drugs.” (House OVERRIDE, 108-40     Senate OVERRIDE, 29-5)

18. LD 1521, “An Act To Create Equity among Essential Nonprofit Health Care Providers in Relation to the Sales Tax and the Service Provider Tax.” (House OVERRIDE, 139-10     Senate OVERRIDE, 34-0)

19. LD 1579, “An Act Regarding the Maine Clean Election Fund.” (House SUSTAIN, 84-63) DEAD

20. LD 1629, “An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Commission to Study the Public Reserved Lands Management Fund.” (House SUSTAIN, 90-58) DEAD

21. LD 1224, “An Act To Amend the Child Protective Services Laws.” (House OVERRIDE, 147-1     Senate OVERRIDE, 34-0)

(SENATE CALENDAR)

22. LD 1398, “An Act to Reduce Electric Rates for Maine Businesses.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 33-2   House OVERRIDE, 110-38)

23. LD 1468, “Resolve, To Improve the Safety of Ferries in the State.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 35-0 House OVERRIDE 113-32)

24. LD 1540 “An Act To Protect All Students in Elementary or Secondary Schools from Sexual Assault by School Officials.” (Senate OVERRIDE 34-0,      House OVERRIDE, 140-6)

25. LD 1686, “An Act to Amend the Finance Authority of Maine Act.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 28-7   House OVERRIDE 122-24)

26. LD 1614 “Resolve, To Provide Funding for the County Jail Operations Fund.” (House OVERRIDE, 148-0     Senate OVERRIDE, 33-2)

27. LD 1617, “An Act Regarding the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 34-1     House OVERRIDE, 129-18)

28. LD 1692, “An Act to Amend and Clarify the Laws Governing the Brunswick Naval Air Station Job Increment Financing Fund.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 26-9     House SUSTAIN, 85-62) DEAD

29. LD 867, “An Act To Provide Tax Fairness and To Lower Medical Expenses for Patients under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act.” (Senate SUSTAIN, 23-12) DEAD

30. LD 690, “An Act To Ensure the Safety of Home Birth.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 28-7)

31. LD 1645, “An Act To Address Employee Recruitment and Retention Issues at State Mental Health Institutions.” (Senate OVERRIDE, 34-0)

32. LD 1472, “Resolve, To Enhance the Administration of the Child and Adult Care Food Program by Creating Clear Guidelines for Organizations and Streamlining the Application Process.” (Senate SUSTAIN, 23-12) DEAD

33. LD 1481, “An Act to Protect Maine’s Natural Resources Jobs by Exempting from Sales Tax Fuel Used in Commercial Farming, Fishing and Forestry.”

 

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NOTE: This post will be updated as results become known.

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May 1 aka “Veto Day” Score Card: 30, no, 46, wait- 48- And Counting

Posted on April 29, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UPDATE x2: 15 vetoes on Friday became 30 on Monday, then became 46 on Tuesday as Paul LePage’s veto spree continues with no end in sight.

Wednesday: Now at 48 with LDs 1043 and 1744 added so far.

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lepage sots angry selfGovernor Paul LePage held true to his vow during last weekend’s GOP Convention in Bangor regarding vetoes and added 15 new ones to the existing stack of 15 previous ones for the 126th Legislature to wade through when they reconvene on Thursday. Here is the list so far; no doubt that this list will be updated as more are thrown back to legislators.

So far, LePage has vetoed 163 bills. The previous high water mark was Jim Longley’s 118.

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1. LD 38, “Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Chapter 201: Provider of Last Resort Service Quality, a Major Substantive Rule of the Public Utilities Commission”

2. LD 1431, “An Act To Support School Nutrition and Expand the Local Foods Economy”

3. LD 1719, “An Act To Improve Education about and Awareness of Maine’s Health Laws and Resources”

4. LD 1747, “Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Chapter 180: Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth Systems, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Education”

5. LD 1761, “An Act To Ensure That Large Public Utility Reorganizations Advance the Economic Development and Information Access Goals of the State”

6. LD 1806, “An Act To Implement the Recommendations Contained in the State Government Evaluation Act Review of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System”

7. LD 1816, “An Act To Address Recommendations from the Report by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability Regarding the Public Utilities Commission”

8. LD 1820, “An Act To Reduce Abuse of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program through Restriction of Electronic Benefits Transfers”

9. LD 1851, “An Act To Delay Implementation of the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act and Related Statutory Provisions”

10. LD 1829, “An Act To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Report Annually on Investigations and Prosecutions of False Claims Made under the MaineCare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Food Supplement Programs”

11. LD 1821, “An Act To Implement Recommendations of the Right To Know Advisory Committee”

Paul LePage12. LD 1809, “An Act Concerning Meetings of Boards of Trustees and Governing Bodies of Quasi-municipal Corporations and Districts That Provide Water, Sewer and Sanitary Services”

13. LD 1479, “An Act to Clarify Telecommunications Regulation Reform”

14. LD 1858, “An Act to Achieve the Savings Required under Part F of the Biennial Budget and To Change Certain Provisions of the Law for Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015”

15. LD 1468, “Resolve, Directing the Public Utilities Commission To Study the Potential Benefits and Barriers Involved in Making Renewable Thermal Technologies Eligible for Qualification in Maine’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard”

16. LD 1120, “An Act To Improve Maine’s Tax Laws”

17. LD 1247, “An Act To Expand Coverage of Family Planning Services”

18. LD 1772, “Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Chapter 200: Metallic Mineral Exploration, Advanced Exploration and Mining, a Late-filed Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Environmental Protection”

19. LD 1794, “An Act To Cancel the No-bid Alexander Group Contract To Produce Savings in Fiscal Year 2013-14”

20. LD 1641, “An Act To Amend the Workers’ Compensation Laws as They Pertain to Employee Representation”

21. LD 1729, “An Act To Increase the Period of Time for the Calculation of a Prior Conviction for Operating Under the Influence”

22. LD 347, “An Act To Amend Insurance Coverage for Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders”

23. LD 906, “An Act to Permit a School Administrative Unit Discretion Concerning Participation of Students from Charter Schools in School Extracurricular and Interscholastic Activities”

24. LD 1600, “An Act to Require Health Insurers to Provide Coverage for Human Leukocyte Antigen Testing to Establish Bone Marrow Donor Transplantation Suitability”

25. LD 1463, “A Resolve to Develop a Process for Tax Expenditure Review”

26. LD 1194, “An Act to Protect Social Media Privacy in School and in the Workplace”

27. LD 1593, “A Resolve to Eliminate Financial Inequality in MaineCare Reimbursement for Community-based Behavioral Health Services”

28. LD 1345, “A Resolve to Study the Design and Implementation of Options for a Universal Health Care Plan”

29. LD 1185, “An Act to Enhance Efforts to Use Locally Produced Food in Schools”

30. LD 1757, “A Resolve to Establish the Blue Ribbon Commission on Independent Living and Disability”

31. LD 1578, “An Act To Increase Health Security by Expanding Federally Funded Health Care for Maine People”

32. LD 222, “An Act Designating the Chief of the State Police as the Only Issuing Authority of a Permit To Carry a Concealed Handgun”

33. LD 1750, “An Act To Amend the Maine Administrative Procedure Act and Clarify Wind Energy Laws”

34. LD 1640, “An Act To Enhance the Stability and Predictability of Health Care Costs for Returning Veterans and Others by Addressing the Issues Associated with Hospital Charity Care and Bad Debt”

35. LD 1827, “An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support Maine Small Business and Job Creation”

36. LD 1837, “An Act To Provide Former Employees of the Maine Military Authority the Ability To Sue for Severance Pay”

37. LD 444, “An Act To Improve Workers’ Compensation Coverage for All Injured Workers”

38. LD 1367, “An Act To Require Health Insurance Carriers and the MaineCare Program To Cover the Cost of Transition Services To Bridge the Gap between High School and Independence”

39. LD 297, “An Act To Require Forest Rangers To Be Trained in Order To Allow Them To Carry Firearms”

40. LD 1824, “An Act To Provide Additional Authority to the State Board of Corrections”

41. LD 440, “An Act To Support Community Health Centers through Tax Credits for Dentists and Primary Care Professionals Practicing in Underserved Areas”

42. LD 933, “An Act To Establish a Separate Regulatory Board for Dental Hygienists”

43. LD 1154, “An Act To Establish the Maine Length of Service Award Program”

44. LD 1310, “An Act To Improve Access to Dental Care through the Establishment of the Maine Board of Oral Health”

45. LD 1850, “Resolve, To Establish the Commission To Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula”

46. LD 1765, “An Act To Establish the Criminal Law Revision Commission”

47. LD 1043, “An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue and To Assist in the Creation of Jobs through Regional Economic Development”

48. LD 1744, “An Act To Protect Maine Lakes”

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(UPDATED) Paul LePage Sets New Maine Veto Record (LIST)

Posted on April 2, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

UPDATE: Apparently LePage decided to veto more bills today since this was originally posted, increasing the current number to 125 vetoes.

Among this afternoon’s additions was LD 1552, Resolve, To Provide for an Analysis of MaineCare Rates for Facility-based Preschool Services for Children with Disabilities and a Report on the Analysis, addressing longstanding problems with the reimbursement system for providers. The bill calls for the Department of Health and Human Services to analyze the rates, the costs and the needs of the children and look for cost-saving initiatives.

HHS Chairs Sen. Craven and Rep. Farnsworth question DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew during public hearing. Also pictured, Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Waterville)

HHS Chairs Sen. Craven and Rep. Farnsworth question DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew during public hearing. Also pictured, Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Waterville)

HHS Committee Chair Rep. Richard Farnsworth, who sponsored the bill and also sits on the Autism Society of Maine board, issued the following statement:

    “The governor likes to talk about the state’s most vulnerable citizens. These children are our most vulnerable Mainers. Specialized preschool services for children with developmental disabilities like autism are among the best ways to prepare them for success in their later school years.

    Despite what the governor says, the department has not initiated the important steps of modernizing this outdated reimbursement system. The department has proven that it needs direction from the Legislature to accomplish this task, improve services for these children and make wise use of taxpayer dollars.”

autismblueIt needs to be noted that April is Autism Awareness Month and today is World Autism Awareness Day. Despite the fact that Maine has one of the highest incidence rates in the nation, neither LePage nor his administration has ever made mention or notice of this since he was first sworn into office in 2011.

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lepage sots angry selfContinuing on his message of “My Way Or The Highway”, Maine Governor Paul LePage this week set a rather dubious benchmark for future governors by vetoing now 122 pieces of legislation. No doubt that the current number of vetoes will increase before the end of the current legislative session. The previous veto record was 118, set by independent Gov. James Longley (1975-1979).

Earlier today, 3 of his vetoes were overridden in the House and now go to the Senate.

Here is a list of Governor Paul LePage’s record setting vetoes with issued statements.

(OVERRIDDEN) House: 136-6; Senate 33-1.

(OVERRIDDEN) House: 129-12; Senate 29-5.

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Maine Legislature Overrides LePage Veto of LD 1353, “An Act To Further Reduce Student Hunger”

Posted on February 18, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Last week, both chambers of the Maine Legislature took up and voted to override Governor LePage’s veto of LD 1353, “An Act To Further Reduce Student Hunger”. The Senate first took up the veto, sponsored by Senate President Justin Alfond.

Here is the floor speech he delivered to his colleagues, urging they join him in voting against the Governor:

    When I was 9 years old and living in Dexter, Tom was my classmate. We were friends and he liked to play sports. Back then, and through my 9-year old eyes, I remember he was “that kid” who got called down to the principal’s office. He was “that kid” who stayed in during recess. He was also “that kid” who missed a lot of school. What I realized later, with my adult eyes, is that Tom was “that kid” whose family–although they worked hard–didn’t have enough money to make sure Tom got enough food. He was hungry. I am sure that we all knew or know a Tom? Maybe there are a few of us in this room that was Tom?

    justin alfondAs a past member of the education committee, I now know that hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to learning. A child who doesn’t have enough to eat, won’t do as well in school. They’re more likely to get sick more often—and, less likely to finish high school. Tom was “that kid”.

    That was more than 25 years ago.

  • Today, there are 84,000 students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.
  • Today, twenty percent of Maine kids are food insecure–that’s nearly one in five.
  • Today, the state of Maine ranks third–only two other states in America have more children in hunger.

    That’s a list that we shouldn’t be on. In fact, that’s a ranking we should be ashamed of.

    Sometimes, the best solutions are the simplest. This bill is one small step–one common sense step toward making sure a hungry kid in Maine has the opportunity to get one meal a day during the summer-vacation months.

    Feeding hungry students is nothing new. We already have a program in place for making sure hungry students get fed during the school year. It’s a federal program, that Maine schools take part in. It’s called the National School Lunch Program.

    And feeding students during the summer is nothing new. In fact, the first summer food program began in 1968.

    Government–and our society–has long seen the need, and accepted the responsibility, to help provide nutrition to our neediest children.

    Today, if you all join me in supporting this bill (again), we can make a difference to 84,000 Maine kids who currently qualify for free or reduced lunch. Today, all we are asking–and expecting–is for the adults to have a conversation about the hungry children at their school, in their community. Today, we are asking schools who already offer summer programming like a rec program, to consider whether a summer food program is right for them.

    The food costs are paid for. The federal Summer Food Program picks up the food costs.

    The bill even allows schools to partner with churches or nonprofits or other community and civic organizations. In my home town of Portland, there’s a summer food program in the park—at Deering Oaks. The goal is to go to where the kids are and make it as easy as possible.

    But even still, if a school doesn’t want to participate, they can opt out. Ultimately, it’s a local decision.

    Some may ask, “Why is this necessary if schools already can ‘opt-in’ to a summer food program?”. The answer is simple: because there are still 70,000 kids across our state, in each of our districts, who are not getting fed in the summer. They are hungry.

    The question I ask each of you is, “Why wouldn’t we do this now?”

    Again I will ask you: “Why wouldn’t we do this now when food insecurity for Mainers is increasing?”

    This bill is more than just a bill, it’s a pledge, it’s a commitment by all of us that we need to change course; we need to build momentum to help our most precious assets, the children of our state.

    Today, you have a second chance to help feed our state’s hungry children so that we can make sure all of our kids, even the hungry, have the basic building blocks to go toe to toe with their classmates or in fact with anyone, anywhere.

    I hope you will join me.

Senator Colleen Lachowicz added: “At a time when more families are struggling to make ends meet and more children are hungry, it is irresponsible and unconscionable of us not to do everything we can to reduce student hunger.”

The Senate voted 25-10 in support of the override; it then next went to the House. Some quick notes taken during the resulting floor debate:

    Reps Ben Chipman, Tori Kornville rose in support; now Jeff McCabe. Peter Johnson (r-Greenville) spoke in opposition, saying that it should be left to local communities.

    Now Corey Wilson, (R-Augusta). He tells the chamber again of how he was one of these children and urges support in overriding the veto.

    Rep. Helen Rankin (D-Hiram) speaks to address her colleagues in the House (2013).

    Rep. Helen Rankin (D-Hiram) speaks to address her colleagues in the House (2013).

    Bruce Macdonald, one of the committee chairs, spoke and now Karen Kusiak.

    GOP Rep. McClellan of Raymond opposes on funding concerns later on. He also opposes it as a mandate. Unhappy that schools are giving medical care, etc and not simply teaching (paraphrase).

    Jeff Timberlake (R-Turner) asks questions re: whether or not this is allowed in school; Seth Berry answering.

    Anne Graham speaking in support, tells how health and nutrition work together.

    Diane Russell (D-Portland) rises to ask “how did we get to a place where we are debating whether or not to reduce student hunger”?

    Jennifer DeChant (D-Bath) discusses her work in 1992 with national campaign to end hunger.

    Dennis Keschl (R-Belgrade) asks question re: better to educate schools on the program.

    Gay Grant (D-Gardiner) gives personal story of how the reduced lunches helped.

    Elizabeth Dickerson (D-Rockland) next, telling of her communities’ 40% lower income poverty that kids in her school live in, every day. That she has taught algebra and discovered that some kids have not eaten all day- she and other teachers routinely keep snacks in their desks for these students.

    Jeff McCabe )D-Skowhegan) answers the earlier Keschl question; now Brian Jones… Strong statement regarding body’s charge if taking care of common welfare of Maine citizens.

    Matthea Daughtry (D-Brunswick) next, another committee member.

    Scott Hamann (D- South Portland) talking about going to a school pantry in Biddeford yesterday and Hannaford’s helping.

    Terry Hayes speaks of how she just came from an ethical meeting. “We continue to add to what schools need to do”… Will vote to override, but understands the GOP argument.

    Paul McGowan of York also answers Keschl.

    Now Ray Wallace (R-Dexter) asks what folks had for breakfast or lunch when they were kids- grew up in family of 8 kids and single mom, no help. Did not suffer and was able to learn. Let the parent raise the child. They get food stamps; are they spending it on food… Or something else? Let the parent feed them!! If they aren’t gonna feed them, cut the welfare!

    Rep Soctomah next, was raised on state reservation. Speaks of her own background, very emotional issue for her.

    Rep. Helen Rankin addresses House; urges support of override.

Bangor Daily News reported the following quotes from legislators:

Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) interviewed by WCSH in 2013.

Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) interviewed by WCSH in 2013.

Rep. Victoria Kornfield (D-Bangor): “Vetoing this bill did not save the state funds. Instead, it left federal funding on the table. … Frankly, I am surprised that the chief executive vetoed this bill because the summer program is exactly the compassion he talked about in his State of the State speech.”

Rep. Peter Johnson (R-Greenville): “The fact that we have to pass a law to have adults have a conversation says something about this bill. I think we should have the confidence in our citizenship to allow them to do that without passing another mandate.”

Rep. Michael McClellan (R-Raymond): “If we don’t look at issues like this and come up with the root of the problem and why it’s happening, then it’s a Band-Aid and we’ll be here again in a year or two to deal with it again. I don’t think it’s just or fair to keep burdening our schools with these things.”

Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta): “I grew up quite poor and relied on food from the food pantry. I also did receive free breakfasts and free lunches from the school and I’m thankful for that. I rise in support of overriding the veto. It’s just the right thing to do. We have an opportunity here to feed children and I feel that if we ever have that opportunity, we should go for it. … I want to see the children in my community have the ability to simply be fed.”

Rep. Karen Kusiak shared her floor speech:

    Thank you Mr. Speaker, Women and Men of the House:

    I rise to speak in support of the motion before us; we must override the unfortunate veto of LD 1353, and Act to Further Reduce Student Hunger.

    Rep. Karen Kusiak of Fairfield

    Rep. Karen Kusiak of Fairfield

    One of the school districts I represent, MSAD 49 – where I served on the school board – has cooperatively participated in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for a number of years. We serve children and youth who attend a community supported summer recreation program and children who attend a summer school program.

    (It may be that other school districts in my legislative district have summer food service programs, I don’t know for sure.) But I do know that my county, Somerset, has over 55% of our students qualifying for the federal lunch program. Our county, like other poor counties in the state, have children who rely on the school lunch programs for their basic nutrition. Children and youth up through the age of 18 who live within the geographic boundary of a school district with such a high participation in the school lunch program can participate in the Summer Food Service Program.

    The SFSP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and run by the Maine Department of Education. The Maine DOE already encourages school districts to participate in the program. Look at their child nutrition programs page – there is plenty of information about getting a SFSP started and suggestions for making the reporting and paperwork relatively easy.

    From the DOE Website: “The Summer Food Service Program provides meal reimbursement to eligible summer programs. Communities throughout Maine have opened the door to the SFSP and helped close the door on summer hunger. Sponsors include schools, community recreation programs, nonprofit organizations and camps. Maine has over 87 sponsors with an estimated 254 sites for children to have a summer meal at no cost. Almost 481,000 meals and snacks were served in 2012.”

    Yet, even with the 87 sponsors and 254 sites, still the Maine Center for Economic Policy calculated in 2011 that Maine was using only about 10% of federal USDA funds that we are eligible to receive for Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP.) That means that children and youth in Maine who are eligible for the program are not able to participate, and are likely going hungry or not eating balanced meals.

    More Maine children and youth can be served through SFSP. Holding more school districts responsible for SFSP is the right thing to do.

    Opting out is permitted – a school board need only publicize that it will be conducting a public hearing on opting in or out of the program and vote on the question in a public meeting. A School Board may opt out, for example, after noting and telling the community that a local recreation program offers the SFSP for children and youth in their community. However, where no such program is provided, this bill will encourage local school districts to participate in the program or provide an opportunity for local residents to urge – through the public meeting – that schools participate in the program.

    It is very simple. Overriding this bill is the right thing to do for hungry, developing (growing) children who need good nutrition, and it provides support for poor and working class families.

Here is the floor speech of Rep. Scott Hamann:

    Thank you Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, Men and Women of the House.

    Yesterday I visited a food pantry at an elementary school in Biddeford. I saw wonderful families file through, gratefully gathering their groceries. Volunteers greeting them at the door, and offering their help. Hannaford was there. They had a nutrition specialist ready to answer questions and offer recipe suggestions specific to the types of food that was being distributed by the school pantry. Some girl scouts set up a table and were giving out free books.

    This is where community happens. In our schools. Our community activities and activity centers. That’s why it’s the perfect place to implement and optimize an available federal resource – the Summer Food Service Program – to address child hunger…something that no reasonable person would consider anything other than a dire concern.

    Rep. Scott Hamann (D- South Portland) speaks at a press conference is support of raising minimum wages.

    Rep. Scott Hamann (D- South Portland) speaks at a press conference is support of raising minimum wages.

    Hunger…doesn’t happen just 9 months out of the year. The hunger pains don’t go away just because a child finishes second grade and begins their summer vacation. They have three months to wait to start third grade, get back to school, and get back to more predictable nutrition. That’s not right. That student doesn’t come back in September equally as prepared as a student who spent their summer knowing where their next meal was coming from. That’s not fair. And that is what the Summer Food Service Program is designed to address, and why this food is fully funded by the federal government.

    We talk about opportunity, self reliance, education, an educated workforce. The building blocks of all those things is food security in childhood. If we want a world class labor force, we need to make sure that kids’ stomachs are full and their developing brains are getting the nutrients they need.

    In that respect, the Chief Executive’s veto of LD1353 is shortsighted. Why would we ever want to handicap our next generation’s workforce? Why wouldn’t we do everything in our power to ensure that we are delivering Maine’s business community the best employees possible? A generation raised free from food insecurity. This bill is a step in that direction.

    At a time when pantry lines… are almost longer than the list of excuses why we can’t rise to the challenge of addressing child hunger… hopefully this vote is unanimous to reflect how both parties unequivocally support the morally right and responsible effort to address child hunger. Hopefully both sides of the aisle can work together in the future as well to take further steps to address what ought to be one of the most bipartisan…nonpartisan issues in the state house – protecting a child’s next meal.

Ultimately the House also voted to override the veto by a 2 vote margin, 92-45. Only four GOP members joined Democrats in overriding the veto: Rep. Corey Wilson, Rep. Joyce Maker (R-Calais), Rep. Matthew Pouliot (R-Augusta) and Rep. Ellen Winchenbach (R-Waldoboro).

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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”

      VETO OVERRIDDEN IN HOUSE; SUSTAINED IN SENATE: 102-41 (HOUSE); 18-14 (SENATE).

    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”

      VETO OVERRIDDEN IN HOUSE; SUSTAINED IN SENATE: 96-46 (HOUSE), 20-12 (SENATE).

    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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