Gov. Janet Mills is pictured at the State House on Sept. 10. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

State lawmakers should further vet a proposal that would create a consumer-owned utility before sending the issue to voters for final approval, Gov. Janet Mills said Wednesday.

Mills, a Democrat, appeared on Maine Public’s Maine Calling program expressing an array of concerns about the bill, including the makeup and required expertise of the public utility’s governing board.

“I think the Legislature needs to understand what they’re voting on and answer these questions that I’ve posed … and a lot of other people posed in their testimony before they pass it on, site unseen basically, to the voters of Maine as a rosy solution to a very complicated series of problems,” she said.

The proposal cleared the Legislature’s Energy and Utilities Committee on Tuesday after a 9-2 vote, but its prospects in the full Legislature are unclear.

A Mills veto would complicate its passage because it would require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate to override her. The House and Senate have not taken any votes on the proposal yet.

Supporters are pushing the measure amid high customer dissatisfaction with Central Maine Power.

The proposal would effectively force CMP and Versant Power to sell their assets and allow a privately operated, nonprofit company controlled by an elected board to take over.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.