LePage vetoes bills on wrongful death suits, disability recommendations

Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage delivered a couple of notable veto letters on Friday.

The Republican governor vetoed one bill that would have extended the statute of limitations for wrongful death actions relating to homicides. It was backed by Attorney General Janet Mills and was lobbied by families of homicide victims.

However, LePage said it “muddles a simple and clear statue of limitations to no practical end” and is “nothing more than pandering to grieved families.”

A group representing those families said they’re “outraged and insulted” by the letter and they’ll be in Augusta on Monday to urge the Legislature to override the veto, according to WGME.

But LePage also vetoed a bill that would implement recommendations of a state commission on disability.

In particular, he took issue with funding under the bill that’s directed toward the Maine Statewide Independent Living Council. The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Michael McClellan, R-Raymond, who is also the council’s executive director.

LePage called it “especially inappropriate” that McClellan was sponsoring the bill.

“Alas, so goes politics in Augusta,” he said. — Michael Shepherd

Collins-led committee could hold maligned drug CEO in contempt

The head of a controversial prescription drug company may be held in contempt by the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

On Friday, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International CEO Michael Pearson failed to appear at a committee deposition after being subpoenaed, according to a statement from the office of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine who chairs the committee.

Collins and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, said because the company’s actions are central to its investigation of drug price spikes, “it is our intent to initiate contempt proceedings” against Pearson.

Valeant disclosed last year that it’s facing four investigations in the U.S. and has drawn ire for its strategy of buying the rights to drugs and raising prices heavily. The company’s brand-name drugs went up 66 percent in price in 2015, more than five times the rate of its peers, according to The New York Times.

Pearson’s lawyer has told the committee that he wouldn’t testify without knowing what he’ll be asked about and that he will appear at a public hearing later this month, Bloomberg reported— Michael Shepherd

Quick hits

  • Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, will meet with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland on Wednesday. Senate Republican leaders have said they won’t consider President Barack Obama’s nomination and want the next president to fill the vacancy. Collins met with him last week and has called for hearings on Garland’s nomination.
  • U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican from Maine’s 2nd District, will be in Boston on Tuesday for a roundtable with The New England Council, a regional business group. — Michael Shepherd

Reading list

Best of Maine’s Craigslist

  • Oh, Brynn on Tinder, you “perfidious heartbreaker of men,” a guy you unmatched with is very upset: “You must have run over your phone with the family tractor or else dropped it in the toilet, because there is no conceivable way you could deny my charming advances in a mere 24 hour period.” Yes, I’m sure that’s it.
  • A woman in Westbrook lost weight, so she’s giving away three thongs that never left a package of six with no word on what happened to the other three. “Don’t send me any weird emails,” she says, forgetting this is Craigslist, where anything’s possible.
  • A guy couldn’t take his eyes off a woman who was “dancing in place and biting your nails” in Portland recently. He wants to connect. If it’s you, identify yourself by saying “what you were wearing and the color of your whistle.” I have so many questions. Here’s her soundtrack. — Michael Shepherd
Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.