Maine Senate overrides LePage veto of tobacco bill

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s Democratic-controlled Senate has voted to override Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill seeking to increase access to treatment for people to quit smoking.

The Senate’s 31-4 vote in favor of the bill Tuesday follows the House’s override of the veto last week.

The bill provides insurance coverage for costs for Medicaid program members to receive treatment to quit smoking and directs the state’s health department to seek funds from the federal government to cover those costs.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage wrote in his veto letter that the bill eliminates co-pays for Medicaid, an “essential component of maintaining fiscal responsibility” in the program.

Senate Democratic Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash said in a statement that the state should be doing everything it can to help people quit smoking.

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