I’m disappointed. I’d hoped that the many, many reasons to accept the free federal money to cover Maine citizens would add up to legislators’ passing LD 1066.
I also failed to look carefully at the original House vote and hadn’t noticed that the bill never had a two-thirds majority there. It was very, very close, but in votes a miss is as good as a mile, unfortunately. Only one Republican legislator changed her vote from yes to no between the original vote and the override – and that was on the second override.
Things might have gone differently under optimal conditions — several supportive legislators didn’t attend the final vote, for example — but I was a little premature in blithely predicting that this bill would make it to the Senate. Had it gotten there, it also would have been under the 2/3 majority by a single vote, and it’s not unlikely that this event would likely have played out similarly.
The first bill to address MaineCare expansion (LD 1546) had even less support from legislators, so supporters did indeed move the needle closer to the firm 2/3 majority point that is currently necessary for all contentious bill passage.
Unfortunately, they didn’t manage to get all the way there.