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House, Senate Support Bill to Force Sale of Voter-Approved Senior Housing Bonds

The House has joined the Senate in supporting legislation that would force the sale of $15 million of bonds for senior housing approved by the voters in 2015.

Westbrook Rep. Drew Gattine, a Democrat, argued the bill is needed because Gov. Paul LePage has refused to sign off on the sale of the bonds.

“Maine desperately needs the senior housing that these voter-approved bonds will create. Maine is the oldest state in the nation,” he said.

Gattine said the bonds had the support of 70 percent of the voters and LePage is ignoring their will.

But Rep. Tom Winsor, a Republican from Norway, said the language in the bill made it clear the bonds would need the approval of the governor to be sold. He also warned the bill will erode the authority of the executive branch.

“The executive’s job — to ensure, to make sure that the administration of government is prudent and within the limits authorized. This bill wrongly interferes with the chief executive’s powers,” he said

The bill faces further votes and a likely veto from LePage.