Westbrook, MAINE - Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following statement today in response to the State Senate’s unanimous vote to override a veto by Governor Paul LePage of a bill that would increase the long-term availability of the life-saving, anti-overdose drug naloxone. The bipartisan legislation, which was introduced by Democratic Senator Ben Chipman of Portland, had earned unanimous support in the Legislature.
“We applaud the Senate for having the courage and foresight to override Governor LePage’s veto.
“Saving lives is hard enough without Governor LePage making it more difficult. His senseless opposition to this life-saving medication would be nothing more than head-scratching if the consequences weren’t so dire, but they are -- and that’s why his veto was so harmful and another tragic chapter in his Administration’s failed approach to Maine’s opioid crisis.
“In fact, the governor is so limited in his understanding of this epidemic that he even had the audacity to point the finger of blame at the Legislature when he has worked harder than anybody else to restrict access to treatment, despite the pleading of nearly everyone who knows better than him.
“We are grateful to Senator Chipman for leading the charge and to the entire Senate for taking a positive step forward today, but this is yet another painful lesson that the biggest impediment to tackling Maine’s opioid crisis is Paul LePage.