Maine Lawmakers Sustain Vetoes As They Finish Their Work

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Legislature sustained five vetoes by Gov. Janet Mills on Monday as lawmakers wrapped up their work.

Bills that were vetoed focused on governance of the University of Maine System; electric transmission lines; probation and conditions of release; retaliation against workers utilizing earned paid leave; and tax incentives for the forest products sector.

All fell short of a two-thirds majority in the House, so there was no need for further votes in the Senate.

The day started with the ceremonial signing of a bill that strengthens the state's so-called Good Samaritan law at a time of record drug overdoses. It builds on a 2019 law that exempts from criminal liability the person who calls 911 for help, along with the person who overdosed.

New changes signed by Gov. Janet Mills exempt from prosecution anyone assisting at the scene. The goal of the law is to encourage people to help instead of declining to report an overdose for fear of being arrested.

Mills also had a ceremonial signing for a bill that strengthens research on ALS, the debilitating illness also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

She said it was personal because, like many Mainers, she knew people who died from neurological disease. In her case, it was House Clerk Joe Mayo and George Smith of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine.

On Monday, lawmakers were mostly mopping up.

All told, 969 bills had become law and 27 bills had been vetoed during the two-year legislative cycle. No vetoes were overturned.