Currently showing posts tagged Bonds

  • Maine House lawmakers unanimously backs land preservation bonds despite Gov. LePage

    By Ramona du Houx

    The Maine House of Representatives on January 12, 2016, unanimously gave its initial approval to a measure reauthorizing $6.5 million in voter-approved Land for Maine’s Future bonds as part of a bipartisan effort to revive the expired bonds. Some of these voter-approved bonds date back to the Baldacci administration. The vote was 147-0.

    “The fight to fully fund Land for Maine’s Future proved to be a truly bipartisan effort. Legislators on both sides of the aisle who understand the critical importance of preserving Maine’s natural resources and securing our economic future joined together to ensure that our state’s most vital land conservation program will continue to provide access for all Mainers,” said Rep. Martin Grohman, D-Biddeford, an avid hunter and supporter of Land for Maine’s Future.

    An amendment from Grohman stripped the original text of LD 1454 and replaced it with a 5-year reauthorization of bonds approved by voters in 2010. The bonds expired in November, on the first regular day of the deer hunting season, when Gov. Paul LePage did not release them.

    “Today was a win for voters, outdoorsmen and women, outdoor recreation businesses and other Mainers who recognize the importance of Land for Maine’s Future to our economy – particularly for rural Maine. It will be great to see these voter-approved bonds released and preserving land for recreation and waterfront, forestry and farming jobs,” said House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, a Maine guide and a leading proponent in the effort to free the bonds.

    “We are delighted that legislators voted unanimously today to reinstate the 2010 Land for Maine's Future bond that expired in November,” said Beth Ahearn, legislative director for Maine Conservation Voters.  “Already promised LMF funding can now be invested in more than 30 projects across Maine to benefit our economy and provide recreational opportunities to all.”

     The Legislature opened the second session by coming together on this issue. The House on the first day of session passed an order to recall LD 1454 from the governor’s desk, and the Senate followed suit. The cooperation prevented a veto of the bill and provided the opportunity to amend it.

    LD 1454 faces further votes in the House and Senate.


  • Citizen’s Guide to the 2015 Maine Referendum Election available online

    As Election Day nears on Nov. 3, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is reminding all Maine voters of an informational resource that can help them make informed decisions at the polls: the 2015 Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election.

    The guide, prepared by the Department of the Secretary of State in collaboration with the attorney general, state treasurer and Office of Fiscal and Program review, is an unbiased and non-partisan review of the issues that voters will consider at the polls this November.

    The Citizens Guide provides detailed information about each question on the November ballot, said Dunlap. Voters can see the proposed legislation behind this year’s citizen-initiated question and state bond proposals, as well as analysis of the intent and content of each question. Election law also allows for citizen advocacy statements to be published supporting or opposing questions, which provides voters with those viewpoints to consider.

    The November 2015 ballot will include one citizen’s initiative question and two bond issues: 

    Question 1 is a citizen’s initiative "An Act To Strengthen the Maine Clean Election Act, Improve Disclosure and Make Other Changes to the Campaign Finance Laws."

    Question 2 is “An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support the Independence of Maine's Seniors.”

    Question 3 is “An Act To Authorize Two General Fund Bond Issues To Improve Highways, Bridges and Multimodal Facilities.” 

    The Citizens Guide is intended to provide as much information as possible on these complex issues so that voters have the opportunity to educate themselves on the issues. Maine voters are among the most actively engaged in the nation, and were pleased to be able to help them make informed choices, Dunlap said.

    Voters can request absentee ballots online via the Secretary of State’s website, in person, by calling their town clerk, or in writing.