Many readers asked for the names of the six House Republicans who changed their votes and killed Senator Roger Katz’s bill yesterday that would have allowed the Land for Maine’s Future bonds to be sold without the Governor’s approval. And now I’m going to give you those names.
These House members initially voted for LD 1378, but yesterday, they changed their votes and prevented the legislature from overriding the Governor’s veto of the bill. The vote to override was 91 in favor and 52 opposed, leaving us five votes short of the 2/3 necessary to override the veto. Yes, these six voted for it, before they voted against it. That may (should) be hard to explain.
If one of these legislators represents you, I hope you will ask for an explanation and share it with me. And if you need more information about this very important issue, read my Outdoor News blog posted yesterday.
Here are the six House Republicans who changed their votes on LD 1378:
Bruce Bickford of Auburn
Stacey Guerin of Glenburn
Jeff Pierce of Dresden
Tom Skolfield of Weld
Michael Timmons of Cumberland
Steve Wood of Greene.
I will share the excuses of these and the other House members who voted to support the Governor on this issue a little later. I’ve received just one so far, and thank the lady who shared the response she got when she asked her Representative – one of the six – for an explanation.
I’ll tell you the name of this legislator later, as I dissect his entire lengthy letter. But one thing jumped out at me. He wrote, “The Governor is not doing the right thing by holding the bond and not releasing it at this time, but LD 1378 is not the right fix.”
Hmmm. Was it not the right fix when you voted for it on July 11? And what was the right fix, Mr. House member? Did you offer a fix? The truth is, this was the only fix offered, it won a huge majority in both the Senate and the House, and you, Mr. House member, after initially supporting it, knuckled under to the pressure from the Governor and your House Republican leaders, changed your vote, and will be responsible for every one of those two dozen outstanding conservation projects if they are lost to us.
I’ve got to give the environmental groups credit. They just don’t give up. After this crushing defeat yesterday, they offered an amendment directing the Governor to sell the LMF bonds. Ironically, the bill they used was presented yesterday by the governor, supposedly to extend the life of $6.5 million of LMF bonds until next June – just more manipulation of the process by the Governor.
The House stripped that language from the bill and inserted the language directing the Governor to sell the bonds. And that bill sailed through the House and Senate and is on its way to the Governor. Nice try, for sure, but I wouldn’t bet the farm that he’ll actually do that.
If you’d like to read the resolve, here it is.