The Maine Legislature returned to the State House today for the first of three Veto Days. The House and Senate will vote to sustain or override all remaining bills that have been vetoed by the governor, including the budget.
It’s been a little confusing to follow the legislative adjournment this session. Statutory adjournment- the date the legislature is scheduled to adjourn- was June 17th. On the 18th, the House and Senate voted to extend the session by 5 days to continue working. The legislature adjourned by midnight on Tuesday the 23rd, planning to reconvene today to address any remaining vetoes. If needed, the legislature will come back again tomorrow, and again on July 16th.
We have one priority on Veto Day- the CARE Act. LD 666, "An Act to Allow a Patient to Designate a Caregiver in the Patient’s Medical Record", was unanimously passed by the House and Senate on June 18th and has been on the governor’s desk waiting for his signature or veto.
The CARE Act has three potential paths today; the governor may veto the bill, sign the bill, or do nothing. If the governor either signs the bill or does nothing, it becomes law. If he vetoes the bill, the legislature will have the opportunity to override the veto.
A veto is consistent with the governor's political decision to veto all bills sponsored by a Democrat (the CARE Act is sponsored by Democrat Representative Drew Gattine). The governor has vetoed more bills than any other governor in Maine history, and the CARE Act is likely to join the veto list. The result of the high number of vetoes is that the legislature has become very efficient at overriding them.
Earlier this session, another AARP Maine bill was vetoed (LD 382). This bill was sponsored by Republican Senator Rod Whittemore and eliminated the fees associated with placing or removing a security freeze on one’s credit. This veto was successfully overridden in the House and Senate, ensuring that all Mainers can access the most effective protection from identity theft at no cost.
We have confidence in our Senators and Representatives that if the CARE Act is vetoed, the legislature will vote to support Maine’s 200,000 family caregivers and their loved ones and override the veto.