Lawmakers need more votes to fund prison over governor veto
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A round of votes shows Maine lawmakers will need more support to ensure funding for a minimum-security prison that Republican Gov. Paul LePage has pushed to close.
The Senate voted 31-3 while the House voted 87-59 on Thursday on a bill to provide $5.5 million in another year of funding for the prison.
Lawmakers need two-thirds majority votes in both chambers to override LePage’s likely veto. LePage and House Republicans argue the prison is unnecessary.
LePage has transferred about 60 inmates from Downeast Correctional Facility, which lawmakers funded through June.
Washington County commissioners have gone to court to block LePage from further dismantling the prison.
Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills has contested the governor’s authority to shut down a prison and is not representing the LePage administration in the matter.