On Friday, January 10, Governor Janet Mills announced 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. They are:
Earlier this week, Governor Mills announced that the Legislature recalled 13 bills from her desk for further consideration or drafting clarification. With this 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.