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Room 332, State House
2 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0002


Phone: (207) 287-1440

For Immediate Release

Date: 05/01/14

Statements on Various Veto Votes

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport issued the following statements regarding the bills noted.

LD 1578, ObamaCare's Welfare Expansion

- RESULT: Sustained, 94-53

- BACKGROUND: See here

- COMMENT: "ObamaCare's welfare expansion represents the failed status quo of welfare spending and debt in Maine. Governor LePage's veto of it represents the kind of reform that Maine's economy so desperately needs, and sustaining that veto was one of the best things we did for Maine's economy in the past two years."

LD 1729, Repeat OUI Offenders

- RESULT: Overridden, 137-9

- BACKGROUND: Governor LePage submitted a bill to strengthen penalties against OUI offenders. A compromise version strengthened penalties, but not to the extent sought by the Governor, and the bill was thus vetoed.

- COMMENT: "Like the Governor, I wish that penalties for repeat OUI offenders had been stronger in this bill, but most Republican lawmakers are willing to support this measure as a step in that direction until stronger sanctions can be enacted."

LD 222, Concealed Weapons Permits

- RESULT: Sustained, 87-58

- BACKGROUND: This bill would have moved toward centralizing the concealed carry permit issuing process with the Maine State Police, away from local authorities, while increasing fees for obtaining permits.

- COMMENT: "Republicans simply cannot support a bill that infringes on Mainers' Constitutional right to bear arms. This bill would have made it more difficult to obtain a concealed handgun permit while increasing the fees required. That is unacceptable to us and a few Democrats who joined with us in sustaining the Governor's veto of this misguided bill. Law-abiding citizens must be granted the opportunity to protect themselves with as few bureaucratic hurdles as possible."

LD 297, Arming Forest Rangers

- RESULT: Overridden, 131-15

- BACKGROUND: This bill would provide for the training and arming of Maine Forest Rangers. The Governor has stated he supports arming Forest Rangers but believes this bill underfunds the effort.

- COMMENT: "Our forest rangers are facing new dangers every day and they must be allowed the opportunity to protect themselves. I understand the Governor's concerns about the funding levels provided in this bill, but am confident that this will prove to be a successful step forward in training and arming those who look after us in the Maine woods. Right now, in the whole state of Maine, only felons and forest rangers are prohibited from arming themselves.

LD 1431, Food Hubs

- RESULT: Sustained, 96-50

- BACKGROUND: Started out as a $12 million bond issue to create 10 "food hubs" for local agriculture throughout the state. Evolved into a smaller proposal.

- COMMENT: "Many changed their votes to sustain the Governor's veto because, upon closer examination of this proposal and conversations with farmers who would be put at a major competitive disadvantage by this bill, it became clear that this would hurt agriculture in Maine."

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Contact:
David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793