Why Janet Mills is standing in the best way of a Maine tribal-rights growth

AUGUSTA, Maine — The veto letter Gov. Janet Mills wrote final week opposing a invoice that might let Maine’s tribes profit from extra federal legal guidelines is six pages lengthy.

However underlying it’s many years of debate over the connection between the state and its 4 federally acknowledged tribes that make up the Wabanaki Alliance — the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Mi’kmaq and Maliseet.

This yr’s invoice from Home Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, D-Portland, would let Maine tribes profit from federal legal guidelines that don’t at the moment apply to them as a consequence of a landmark 1980 settlement. The settlement gave Maine tribes cash in alternate for being regulated like cities and cities, which left them with out among the powers that tribes throughout the nation have.