This Thursday, July 16, 2015, the Maine State Legislature voted on whether to override Governor LePage's veto of Senator Roger Katz's bill, LD 1378, which aims to force the Governor to release the Land for Maine's Future bonds he's currently holding hostage for political leverage.
LD 1378 was introduced after the LePage administration revealed it was withholding the issuance of bonds for the Land for Maine’s Future program, which helps conserve working waterfronts that the tourism and recreation industry depends upon, as well as funds for the conservation of forests and farmlands. Since its inception in 1987 through a combination of land sales and conservation easements, the Land for Maine's Future program has helped conserve more than 500,000 acres of important recreational and natural resource areas across the state - including more than 1,000 miles of shorefront, guaranteeing public access. The program is financed with bonds approved by voters and requires that all lands provide access to the public for recreational activities.
This bill would have made the following changes to the laws governing the issuance of bonds:
1. It requires the Governor to issue a general obligation bond that has been ratified by the legal voters of the State unless one of 5 specific conditions exist, and it requires the Governor to provide certain information upon delaying or forgoing issuance of a bond;
2. It eliminates the requirement that registered bonds bear the facsimile signature of the Governor; and
3. It requires the Treasurer of State to issue bonds described in Public Law 2009, chapter 414, Part E, section 6, as amended by Public Law 2009, chapter 645, Part J, section 3, and Public Law 2011, chapter 696, section 6 and ratified by the voters of the State in statewide elections held in November 2010 and November 2012, respectively.
Several dozen land conservation projects awaiting funding are currently in limbo as Governor LePage unsuccessfully attempted to pressure lawmakers to allocate state timber revenues to a home heating assistance program.
Our Chapter urged legislators to override Governor LePage's veto of LD 1378. Unfortunately, House Republicans sided with the Governor to maintain political favor at the expense of Maine's natural resources.
YOU can help!
If you're a Mainer, find contact information for your state Rep & Senator here, and get in touch to thank them for their support of the override the Governor's veto of LD 1378 -- or to wager your disappointment if they voted to uphold the Governor's political stunt or did not attend this critical vote (indicated by an X). See how your legislators voted here.