The Latest: Maine lawmakers pass teacher misconduct bill
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Latest on the last scheduled day of Maine’s legislative session (all times local):
Maine schools would have to alert the state about investigations into teacher misconduct under a bill headed to the governor’s desk.
The Senate and House unanimously approved the bill Thursday.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage submitted the bill, which aims to address the issue of Maine educators who are accused of misconduct, and who then resign while maintaining their teaching credential.
Schools would have to notify the state, and vice versa, of investigations into teacher misconduct under the bill.
The bill addresses conduct involving alcohol, illegal drugs, physical and emotional abuse, stalking and “violating boundaries.” Lawmakers passed the bill as a “mandate” because it doesn’t provide additional state funding.
Lawmakers have sustained the governor’s veto of a bill to provide a third of a million dollars in extra election funding.
The House voted 74-46 Thursday to support term-limited Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s likely last veto of his tenure. Democratic Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says the bill was needed to make sure Maine can pay its bills on time for the November election.
Dunlap said such costs include additional ballots, leasing of software and high-speed scanner and couriers services. He also said his department has to prepare for the possibility of ranked-choice tabulations in U.S. federal races.
Democratic Rep. Louis Luchini warned that not passing the bill means the state could face late fees.
Republican House Leader Ken Fredette said lawmakers could take up the issue in January.
Maine lawmakers have returned to handle a veto from the outgoing governor and end a drawn-out legislative session.
The Legislature on Thursday was set to consider the governor’s veto of a bill to provide about a third of a million dollars in additional funding to cover the cost of November elections.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage has long shattered the state’s veto record.
The governor has withdrawn dozens of nominations of individuals to state boards and commissions, including nominees that won committee approval. He’s told The Associated Press that he doesn’t plan on re-instating at least some of the nominations under his watch because he claims Democrats are playing politics.
LePage also withdrew a superior court judge’s reappointment.
But lawmakers Thursday could consider LePage’s remaining nomination of a district court judge.