Crown Politics

LePage panned a special session, but that has not stopped him from submitting new bills

Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage is proposing new bills two days into a three-day session that he has opposed for weeks.

One bill, on this morning’s Senate calendar, would slow scheduled increases in Maine’s minimum wage. The other, which appears on this morning’s House calendar, would prohibit campaign fundraising at voting locations. That latter bill, which would create a 250-foot buffer zone around polling places for campaign collections, would make it more difficult primarily for users of the Maine Clean Election Act, who must collect hundreds or thousands of $5 qualifying contributions to qualify for public campaign financing, which LePage opposes on principle.

Just last week, LePage chastised House Republicans for “giving in” to holding a special session because “it’s an election year.” That’s despite some of LePage’s own priorities being in limbo, such as a tax conformity package that advanced toward his desk Tuesday and a transportation bond bill that we’ll surely hear more about in legislative action today. LePage or any governor is allowed to introduce new legislation whenever the Legislature is in session and last-minute proposals have been a hallmark of his tenure. However, those bills have fared poorly in general and Democrats in the House have enough members to block both of these if they choose.

To read the rest of “LePage panned a special session, but that has not stopped him from submitting new bills,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Christopher Cousins, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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