LePage To Sign Bill Allowing Early Drinking On St. Patrick’s Day 

Governor LePage says he’ll sign a bill to allow bars to serve alcohol a few hours earlier when St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday, as it does this weekend.The governor has vowed to veto any bill that reaches his desk before his proposal to pay a state debt to hospitals is passed. But he’ll sign the St. Patrick’s Day bill as a goodwill gesture to Democrats, who moved closer this week toward agreement with the Republican governor on how to address the $484 million Medicaid debt to hospitals. “He says he’ll sign the bill. He’s a man of his word,” said the bill’s sponsor Saco Democrat Barry hobbins. “I’m very pleased to have him sign the bill and have it become law. It’s very unfortunate that something that was done with a sincere gesture, in an innocuous way turned into a political football.”Current state law prohibits the sale of liquor on Sunday between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. The bill would roll back the earliest opening to 6 a.m.Some Maine businesses say they’d lose business without the new law.