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Maine governor vetoes legalization of sports betting

11 Jan 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Governor Janet Mills announced today that she is allowing 24 of the remaining 27 bills she held for further review last session to become law and that she has vetoed three.

Governor Mills vetoed the following bills: LD 553 "An Act To Ensure Proper Oversight of Sports Betting in the State"; LD 517 "An Act To Facilitate Fair Ballot Representation for All Candidates"; and LD 268"An Act To Create a Credit under the Commercial Forestry Excise Tax for Landowners Using Businesses Based in the United States."

With respect to LD 553, Governor Mills wrote in her veto message that she respected the many hours of work members of the Legislature put into the bill but continued, “respectfully, I remain unconvinced at this time that the majority of Maine people are ready to legalize, support, endorse and promote betting on competitive athletic event.”

“Before Maine joins the frenzy of states hungry to attract this market, I believe we need to examine the issue more clearly; better understand the evolving experiences of other states; and thoughtfully determine the best approach for Maine,” Governor Mills wrote. “That approach needs to balance the desire to suppress gambling activities now being conducted illegally and the need to protect youthful gamblers and those least able to absorb losses under a closely regulated scheme.”

Additionally, Governor Mills allowed the following bills to become law without her signature. In doing so, she also sent letters to lawmakers conveying concerns regarding LD 54, LD 793, and LD 1104. These letters are linked below.

LD 54 “An Act To Limit the Influence of Lobbyists by Expanding the Prohibition on Accepting Political Contributions”

LD 545 “An Act To Ban Child Marriage”

LD 793 “An Act To Improve Accountability of Opioid Manufacturers”

LD 833 “An Act To Provide the Same Retirement Benefits for State Employees Working in Law Enforcement as Are Provided to Law Enforcement Officers”

LD 866 “An Act To Support College Completion by Homeless Youth in Maine”

LD 1036 “Resolve, Establishing a Task Force To Study the Creation of a Comprehensive Career and Technical Education System To Support Workforce Development”

LD 1104 “An Act To Clarify the State’s Commitments Concerning Certain Public Service Retirement Benefits”

LD 1207 “An Act To Expand the 1998 Special Retirement Plan To Include Detectives in the Office of Investigations within the Department of the Secretary of State, Bureau of Motor Vehicles”

LD 1208 “An Act To Expand the 1998 Special Retirement Plan To Include Detectives in the Office of the Attorney General”

LD 1249 “An Act To Prohibit the Abuse and Isolation of Older and Dependent Adults”

LD 1311 “An Act Regarding the Sale of Dogs and Cats at Pet Shops”

LD 1386 “An Act Regarding the Determination of the Prevailing Wage Rate for Public Works Projects”

LD 1399 “An Act To Improve Oral Health and Access to Dental Care for Maine Children”

LD 1442 “An Act To Provide for Court-appointed Advocates for Justice in Animal Cruelty Cases”

LD 1518 “An Act To Establish a Fund for Portions of the Operations and Outreach Activities of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Diagnostic and Research Laboratory and To Increase Statewide Enforcement of Pesticide Use”

LD 1550 “An Act To Create a Victims’ Compensation Fund for Victims of Property Crimes”

LD 1597 “An Act To Provide a Sales Tax Exemption for Purchases Made by Nonprofit Seasonal Camps”

LD 1700 "Resolve, To Promote the Inclusion of African-American History and Culture in the Curricular Offerings of School Administrative Units"

LD 1718 “An Act To Exempt Purchases by Pet Food Pantries from Sales Tax”

LD 1808 “An Act To Provide a Sales Tax Exemption for Certain Nonprofit Charitable Organizations”

LD 1809 “Resolve, To Increase Funding for Evidence-based Therapies for Treating Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Children”

LD 1838 “Resolve, Requiring the Department of Healt

Earlier this week, Governor Mills announced that the Legislature recalled thirteen bills from her desk for further consideration or drafting clarification. With today’s announcement, Governor Mills has taken action on all pending legislation on her desk. The Governor had until Saturday, January 11, 2020, which is three days after the opening of session, not including the first day, to either veto or to allow any held bills to become law without her signature.
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