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Pocket to ME

Republican Gov. Paul LePage didn’t sign 19 bills passed by the Maine legislature. Jeff McCabe, a Democrat and majority leader of the state House, suggested LePage was “distracted” because he was “hanging out with” Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie. But a spokeswoman indicated LePage was using a “pocket veto” on the bills, which he did not support. If the governor neither signs nor vetoes a bill within 10 days, it becomes law, unless the legislature adjourns in that time, in which case it doesn’t become law, unless the same legislature returns and the governor still doesn’t issue a veto. And the legislature went home. “I’m surprised the Legislature does not understand this,” said the spokeswoman. But Democrats said the legislature merely recessed for a while — the governor had said he’d take his time issuing vetoes — and did not adjourn. The revisor of statutes has begun inserting the bills into the state code. “There’s a huge hole in Gov. Paul LePage’s pocket, and a bunch of bills just fell through, handing his opponents and the Legislature huge victories,” said Democratic consultant David Farmer. Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court may be asked to resolve the dispute. (AC/Bangor Daily News, Portland Press-Herald) ...The governor had better hope none of those bills criminalize negligence by an elected official.
Original Publication Date: 12 July 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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