Tuesday, 10 July 2018 09:46

Republicans back LePage's vetoes on Washington County jail funding, conversion therapy ban

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AUGUSTA - House Republicans stood by Gov. Paul LePage on Monday, helping many of his more controversial vetoes survive challenges from Democrats.

House Republicans unfailing support of the governor's stance has been a hallmark of legislative sessions during the past several years.


The Down East Correctional Facility's operating budget lacked enough legislative support to overturn LePage's veto Monday.


The effort to keep the Machiasport facility open was seen by some as a prime example of the atmosphere in the State House halls.


"Right now, politics is just genuinely or generally more argumentative. And I think that's a shame," House Majority Leader Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, said.


The governor's opposition to the prohibition of conversion therapy also was upheld.


That is a type of therapy where parents can force minor children to treatment in an attempt to change their sexual orientation.


It is not often that the minority party ends up leading the legislative process but that's exactly what happened during this session of the Legislature.


"I think the House Republicans have really carried the water here for the last two years, including the shutdown of state government last year,"

House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, said.


But representative Herbig said people are tired of partisan bickering "because there is so much important stuff that I made a commitment to my constituents that we were going to come and get our work done."


Fredette countered that House Republicans have been faithful to the party's principles.


"When we look back and when I look back over the last eight years, I like to say, I did it my way," Fredette said.


November's election could shake up the number of legislators for both parties.


Regardless of the outcome, neither representatives Fredette nor Herbig will return to the House of Representatives.


Term limits prohibit the Newport Republican from seeking re-election. Herbig, his Democratic counterpart, is seeking election to the Senate seat currently held by Senate President Mike Thibodeau of Winterport.


TJ Tremble

Assistant News Director/Reporter
[email protected]

T.J. Tremble joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX 22 in March 2016.

He was raised in Bangor, attended Bangor schools and graduated from John Bapst High School. He attended the University of Maine, s...