Photo: Western Mts. of Maine by Ramona du Houx
Sen. Cathy Breen of Falmouth hailed the House of Representatives’ approval of a bill to reauthorize $6.5 million of voter-approved conservation bonds that expired last year when the governor refused to issue them.
On Wednesday, the House recalled LD 1454 from the governor’s desk and amended it to reauthorize the bonds, which were approved by voters to support projects vetted and approved by Land for Maine’s Future.
The bill now heads to the Senate. The governor has indicated that if the bonds are revived, he will issue them.
“I eagerly await my chance to vote ‘yes’ on this bill, and hope all my fellow Senators will do the same,” said Breen, the ranking Senate Democrat on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. “These bonds were delayed for far too long, which left deserving, vetted conservation projects around our state in limbo for far too long. It will be good to finally get them back on track.”
Sen. Breen has been an advocate for the release of the voter-approved conservation bonds, and a supporter of the conservation projects in and out of her district. Such projects include protection for wildlife refuge, outdoor recreation, working waterfronts and family farms.
“We are pleased with the strong bipartisan support for reviving the 2010 LMF bond,” said Tom Abello, senior policy adviser with The Nature Conservancy in Maine. “Sen. Breen’s leadership in the effort to encourage the Governor to release the voter-approved LMF bonds was critical to this positive outcome. With today’s vote, LMF funding will soon be invested in more than 30 projects across Maine, which will bolster recreational opportunities and benefit our natural resource based economy.