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Maine Supreme Court Rules Against Governor’s Veto Request

Maine’s highest court ruled against Governor Paul LePage in his bid to obtain more time to veto 65 laws already processed into law. The Legislature had disagreed with LePage, causing him to take the dispute to the state’s Supreme Court.

The Justices ruled unanimously that the Governor missed his chance to veto dozens of bills, including several that he adamantly opposed. It was a victory for the leadership of the Maine House and Senate, who said LePage’s failure to act on the 65 bills within 10 days meant that they had become law. LePage had argued that the 10-day deadline didn’t apply in this instance because lawmakers had adjourned at the end of June.

But in its opinion handed down on Thursday, the court said that the Legislature’s temporary adjournment didn’t prevent the Governor from returning vetoed bills. Among the measures processed into law is one that would allow asylum seekers to qualify for general assistance benefits.

“This was not about winning or losing; it was about doing things right,” LePage said in a press release on Thursday. “We are fortunate to be able to seek legal opinions from the Judicial Branch, and we’re thankful the Justices came to a fast and fair resolution to this issue. We look forward to moving on and continuing to work for the Maine people.”

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