By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff
Bangor Daily News news story
AUGUSTA, Maine — A controversial bill to fix a typo that could be worth roughly $38 million to the Efficiency Maine Trust sailed through the House of Representatives Wednesday on a 138-1 vote.
Assistant House Majority Leader Sara Gideon’s bill, LD 1215, which inserts the missing “and” into the 2013 energy bill that included funding directives for energy conservation programs, was authored in competition with a bill from House Minority Leader Ken Fredette of Newport, who proposed fixing the typo but attached language to his bill that would have created a Cabinet-level Maine energy commissioner.
Fredette’s bill is tabled in the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, which voted 11-1 last week in favor of Gideon’s bill.
Fredette said Wednesday on the House floor he intended to try and amend the energy commissioner language into Gideon’s bill but then withdrew that amendment. There has been little to no public support among lawmakers for Fredette’s attempt to tie the typo fix to creating an energy commissioner, though there is interest in the Legislature for considering Fredette’s idea on its own.
Fredette’s bill had the support of Gov. Paul LePage, who has said he would not support Gideon’s bill. The only vote against Gideon’s bill in the House on Wednesday was cast by Rep. Ricky Long, R-Sherman.