January 14

Maine House overrides LePage veto of local food bill

The bill aims to ensure state-funded institutions buy a growing percentage of their food from Maine producers.

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Maine’s Democratic-controlled Legislature has voted to override Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto on a food bill.

Lawmakers voted 94-46 in favor of the bill that aims to ensure state-funded institutions buy a percentage of their food from Maine producers.

In his veto letter, LePage says the state is already required to purchase local food when able and that sometimes things like availability and cost prohibit them from doing so.

Democratic Rep. Craig Hickman of Winthrop, who sponsored the bill, says it will benefit Maine’s economy by keeping money in the state and creating jobs.

The percentage required under the law will increase incrementally over the next 20 years and Democrats say it’s only required if Maine food is competitively priced and available.

The Senate will now vote on the bill.

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