By Ramona du Houx
During a turbulent state house news conference Gov. Paul LePage pledged on May 29, 2015 to veto every bill sponsored by a Democrat until they accept his constitutional amendment to eliminate Maine’s income tax. He then proceeded to insult Democratic lawmakers.
Earlier this year LePage proposed a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the state’s income tax by the year 2020. The measure never even made it out of the Taxation Committee as members of both parties rejected it. To become law, his proposal would have needed the support of two-thirds of the Legislature, and then Maine voters.
“This afternoon we saw the governor coming unglued,” said House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan. “We’re not going to let outbursts -- even one that lasts nearly an hour -- sidetrack us. We continue to work with our colleagues on a responsible budget that provides property tax relief for middle-class families and supports our public schools.”
LePage described Democrats in the Legislature this session as “disgusting.” Yet many are working in a bipartisan fashion to make sure laws are past on needed issues.
“Our focus remains on passing a responsible and fair budget that is fully paid for now and into the future,” said House Speaker Eves of North Berwick, who has lived in Maine for over a decade with his wife and three young children. Eves, the son of a chaplain in the military, was born in California and spent much of his childhood in Kentucky.