LEPAGE VETOES BILL TO INCREASE ACCESS TO DENTAL CARE IN UNDERSERVED AREAS
AUGUSTA – LePage vetoes unanimously supported measure to increase access to dental care in underserved areas.
“All too often families in rural Maine find themselves having to drive hours just to find a good dentist,” said Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash, the sponsor of the measure. “Providing incentives for dentists who practice in rural areas will help rural Mainers access the care they need when they need it, and help young dentists pay off their student loans. It’s perplexing why the governor is opposed to such common-sense legislation that could help so many Mainers. ”
Currently the Department of Health and Human Services provides a dental care access tax credit to eligible dentists up until the year 2015. The measure extends the credit beyond 2015 and requires DHHS to certify at least five eligible dentists who have unpaid student loans and practice full time in underserved areas for at least five years.
With 179 vetoes, Governor LePage has exceeded the number of vetoes by any other Governor, including the previous record holder, one-term Governor Jim Longley who issued 118 vetoes.
The Senate will take up the veto of LD 440, “An Act To Support Community Health Centers through Tax Credits for Dentists and Primary Care Professionals Practicing in Underserved Areas”,when the Legislature reconvenes on May 1. Two-thirds, or 24 votes, is needed to override the veto.