Around New England

Maine About To Dump Columbus Day

April 23, 2019

Maine’s governor plans to sign a bill that would call Columbus Day “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

The Maine Senate passed the bill Thursday, April 18, 19-14, the last legislative hurdle. It was almost a straight party-line vote with only a few exceptions:  two Democrats voted no, one Republican voted yes. One Democrat and one Republican were absent. For the rest, Democrats supported it, Republicans opposed it.

Governor Janet Mills, a Democrat, has previously said she would sign the bill, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The federal holiday on the second Monday in October is still known as Columbus Day.

Maine state government has been moving steadily leftward since Mills replaced Paul LePage, a conservative Republican, as governor in early January. She won election in November 2018, 51-43, over a Republican challenger.

When LePage won his first four-year term as governor in 2010, Republicans also took control of both chambers of the state legislature. They lost both chambers in the 2012 election, but regained the state Senate in 2014, when LePage also won re-election as governor.

In the 2018 election, Democrats took control of the state Senate and kept control of the state Senate, while also winning the governor’s race. This is the first year Democrats have controlled both chambers of the state legislature and the governor’s office in Maine since 2003-2010.

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