Great news! The House and Senate over-rode both of Governor Paul LePage’s vetoes of important hunting bills. Both bills were supported by his Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
One bill reduces the penalty for hunting deer over bait. Last year the legislature passed a bill that called for a one year suspension of the hunting license for hunting deer over bait, and a two year suspension for a second offense.
LePage refused to sign the bill unless the second offense resulted in the loss of the hunting license for life. And that was what the legislature finally enacted. Recognizing that this penalty is ridiculous, the IFW Committee endorsed a bill to take the penalty for a second offense back to a 2 year license suspension, and the House and Senate voted in favor of the bill.
The vote to over-ride the governor’s veto of this bill was 142 to 0 in the House and 33 to 0 in the Senate.
The other bill vetoed by the governor will allow the current law to remain in effect which allows nonresidents to hunt on the opening day of the deer season if they own at least 25 acres and allow residents to hunt there. That law was enacted a few years ago but expires this year. The legislature enacted a bill allowing this to continue.
The vote to over-ride the governor’s veto of this bill was 135 to 6 in the House and 35 to 0 in the Senate.