Maine Legislature Overrides LePage Veto Of LD 1353, “An Act To Further Reduce Student Hunger”

Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2014 in News

Maine Legislature Overrides LePage Veto Of LD 1353, “An Act To Further Reduce Student Hunger”

by Andi Parkinson

Last week, both chambers of the Maine Legislature took up and voted to override Governor LePage’s veto of LD 1353,“An Act To Further Reduce Student Hunger”. The Senate first took up the veto, sponsored by Senate President Justin Alfond.

Here is the floor speech he delivered to his colleagues, urging they join him in voting against the Governor:

Senator Colleen Lachowicz added: “At a time when more families are struggling to make ends meet and more children are hungry, it is irresponsible and unconscionable of us not to do everything we can to reduce student hunger.”

The Senate voted 25-10 in support of the override; it then next went to the House. Some quick notes taken during the resulting floor debate:

Bangor Daily News reported the following quotes from legislators:

 

Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) interviewed by WCSH in 2013.

Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) interviewed by WCSH in 2013.

Rep. Victoria Kornfield (D-Bangor): “Vetoing this bill did not save the state funds. Instead, it left federal funding on the table. … Frankly, I am surprised that the chief executive vetoed this bill because the summer program is exactly the compassion he talked about in his State of the State speech.”

 

Rep. Peter Johnson (R-Greenville): “The fact that we have to pass a law to have adults have a conversation says something about this bill. I think we should have the confidence in our citizenship to allow them to do that without passing another mandate.”

Rep. Michael McClellan (R-Raymond): “If we don’t look at issues like this and come up with the root of the problem and why it’s happening, then it’s a Band-Aid and we’ll be here again in a year or two to deal with it again. I don’t think it’s just or fair to keep burdening our schools with these things.”

Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta): “I grew up quite poor and relied on food from the food pantry. I also did receive free breakfasts and free lunches from the school and I’m thankful for that. I rise in support of overriding the veto. It’s just the right thing to do. We have an opportunity here to feed children and I feel that if we ever have that opportunity, we should go for it. … I want to see the children in my community have the ability to simply be fed.”

Rep. Karen Kusiak shared her floor speech:

Here is the floor speech of Rep. Scott Hamann:

Ultimately the House also voted to override the veto by a 2 vote margin, 92-45. Only four GOP members joined Democrats in overriding the veto: Rep. Corey Wilson, Rep. Joyce Maker (R-Calais), Rep. Matthew Pouliot (R-Augusta) and Rep. Ellen Winchenbach (R-Waldoboro).

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