AUGUSTA–On Monday, the Maine Legislature convened to consider critical investments in Maine’s transportation infrastructure, economy, natural resources and energy efficiency. Bond proposals must receive a two-thirds vote of the members present to go before Maine voters in November. The Legislature overwhelmingly approved a $105 million transportation bond, which will support upgrades to roads and bridges all across the state.
Unfortunately, Republican lawmakers prevented Maine voters from getting a chance to decide on investments in career technical education, Maine National Guard, Land for Maine’s Future program.
Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash:
“At the end of the day, I believe Maine people know how they want to invest in the future of the state and deserve the opportunity to make that decision at the ballot box. It’s why I joined my Senate Democratic colleagues in voting to put these bonds before the voters. Unfortunately, a handful of Republican lawmakers disagreed, voting against letting Maine voters decide on proposals to support members of the National Guard, invest in career and technical education programs, protect our working waterfronts and state parks, and help Mainers lower energy costs.
“I got into politics because I believe that everyday people should get to have a voice in their government and the decisions that affect their lives. It’s something that still rings true today. I promise to continue putting Mainers first as long as I’m in Augusta.”
Senate Majority Leader Nate Libby, D-Lewiston:
“Let’s not misstate what a vote on these bills means. Maine’s Constitution requires that we have a balanced budget. Unlike Congress, we budget for this borrowing and use the funds to make investments in Maine’s infrastructure and economy. With the uncertainty in world financial markets, the bond market is very attractive to investors and advantageous to states issuing bonds. And any bond passed through the Legislature receives final approval from Maine voters. Maine’s been fiscally responsible in its borrowing historically and has less general obligation debt than 39 other states. A vote for these bills would not create any sort of budget deficit. It would simply send these bonds, which make critical investments in Maine’s infrastructure and economy, to Maine voters for their consideration and approval. I trust voters in my district to make sound decisions, but I’m disappointed not all lawmakers feel the same way.”