Split between party leaders may end chance for special session

Eves officially calls for special session

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Less than 18 hours after leaders of the Maine Legislature met to discuss the potential of calling lawmakers in for a special session, a dispute between two leaders may end any potential compromise.

Democratic Speaker of the House Mark Eves sent an email to all House members Friday morning asking if they would compact for a special session to deal with "the governor's conduct." Many legislators have said they want to take some kind of action to hold Gov. LePage accountable for his vulgar voice message to a lawmaker.

However, Democrats have insisted they want the governor removed from office, and that since he has refused to resign, the most likely remaining option would be impeachment. Senate Republicans have talked about a less severe punishment, in the firm of a resolution of censure.

Senate President Mike Thibodeau said Thursday that was the only option his party would consider for a special session. On Friday, following Eves' email, Thibodeau said the Speaker had broken an agreement made at Thursday's meeting by acting on his own to poll House members.

Thibodeau said the Maine constitution requires the Speaker and President to jointly determine the question to be asked of legislators, and to poll them together. Eves responded to that by saying Republicans had a week to make a decision and it was "time to act."

The special session cannot be called with support from the Senate, and as of Friday afternoon, Thibodeau said he did not know if he will pursue it.

Eves has given House members until Tuesday to respond to his poll question.

Republicans are suggesting he took the action for political purposes so that Democrats can campaign against Republicans who reject a special session. Eves said that is nit his motive.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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