Governor Janet Mills today, July 13, vetoed a bill that would have replaced Maine’s two biggest power companies with a consumer-owned electric utility.
In her veto message, the Governor called the recent performance of Maine’s utilities “abysmal” and said that “it may well be that the time has come for the people of the State of Maine to retake control over the [utilities’] assets”, but she raised concerns about the substance of the bill, noting that those concerns combined with a rushed legislative process could create more problems than the bill solves.
It may well be that the time has come for the people of the State of Maine to retake control over the assets on which they depend for the lifeblood of our communities, that is, our electric transmission and distribution services. And there may be a way to create a utility with a professional governing board that is clearly eligible to issue low-interest, tax-exempt bonds that would save ratepayers money, achieve better connectivity with solar and other renewables, and further the climate goals of this Administration… But L.D. 1708, hastily drafted and hastily amended in recent weeks without robust public participation, is a patchwork of political promises rather than a methodical reformation of Maine’s complicated electrical transmission and distribution system.
— CBS 13 News (@WGME) July 13, 2021