Gov. LePage vetoed Rep. Lydia Blume’s bill to create a commission to examine the threats posed by weather and climate-based hazards to Maine’s coastal communities on July 2, 2018.
“I am very disappointed by the governor’s action,” said Blume, D-York. “From his veto letter, it is clear that he does not understand that while a number of agencies may be working on the issue, they are usually working independently. This bill would bring them together.”
The bill adapts a model successfully used by New Hampshire to set up a commission consisting of a wide array of stakeholders and experts to assess the coastal risks and hazards brought about by the changing climate. The New Hampshire efforts resulted in a detailed recommendation report to help coastal communities prepare for and deal with future conditions.
“The powerful storms of this past year have highlighted the need for this commission,” said Blume. “I hope that my colleagues in the Legislature recognize the timeliness and importance of this bill to our crucial coastline and vote with me to override the veto.”
The bill, LD 1095, would create a broad-based working group with representatives from municipalities, state agencies, regional planners, legislators and other coastal stakeholders. It calls for a report back to the Legislature with findings detailing the hazards faced by coastal communities and the plans and resources needed to deal with them. The bill had passed the House with a vote of 86-58 and 24-9 in the Senate
“The commission is critical to help us prepare for the kinds of changes that are now so evident,” Blume said. “Its work can provide the necessary guidance, coordination, direction and best practices to help all our coastal communities prepare for the hazards they face.”
The Legislature is expected to vote on overriding the veto when they convene on Monday, July 9. It takes a two-thirds majority in both chambers to override a veto.
Blume is serving her second term in the Maine Legislature and represents the coastal part of York. She serves on the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee.