Though it is still summer, GrowSmart Maine has turned an eye towards the upcoming elections and the 2015 Legislative Session. This month, we’ll focus on the Bonds on the November Ballot.
GrowSmart Maine has consistently supported sound, balanced proposals for public borrowing, in the form of general revenue bonds. This fall, Maine voters will have a chance to weigh in on six proposals, which follow Question 1, the bear hunting referendum.
The language you will see on the ballot is listed below. GrowSmart Maine believes each of these proposals represents a sound and strategic investment for Maine.
We have been particularly focused on our support of Questions 3 and 6.
Question 3 will recapitalize two successful business finance programs administered by the Finance Authority of Maine. $8 million would be added to a revolving loan fund that provides capital to regional economic development agencies throughout the state and expand the fund’s use by businesses focused on value-added enterprises for farming, fishing, forestry and tourism; as well as downtown revitalization and mixed-use real estate development. An additional $4 million would be made available for loan guarantees in partnership with Maine’s lending institutions.
Question 6, The Clean Water and Safe Communities Bond, will provide $10 million for natural and built infrastructure that provides clean water, good jobs and productive wildlife habitat in communities across Maine. This includes installation of right-sized culverts on municipal roads, restoration of wetlands for improved flood mitigation and a revolving loan fund to upgrade Maine’s drinking water systems and wastewater treatment facilities. GrowSmart Maine is part of an incredible, diverse coalition supporting this bond, based on the value it will produce for Maine’s communities, environment and economy. The coalition supporting Question 6 includes The Nature Conservancy, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, Maine Municipal Association, Maine Audubon and the Associated General Contractors of Maine.
2014 Bond Questions:
- Question 2: “Do you favor an $8,000,000 bond issue to support Maine agriculture, facilitate economic growth in natural resources-based industries and monitor human health threats related to ticks, mosquitoes and bedbugs through the creation of an animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service?”
- Question 3: “Do you favor a bond issue to provide $4,000,000 in funds to insure portions of loans to small businesses to spur investment and innovation and to provide $8,000,000 in funds to make flexible loans to small businesses to create jobs, revitalize downtowns and strengthen the rural economy?”
- Question 4: “Do you favor a $10,000,000 bond issue, to be awarded through a competitive process and to be matched by $11,000,000 in private and other funds, to build a research center and to discover genetic solutions for cancer and the diseases of aging, to promote job growth and private sector investment in this State, to attract and retain young professionals and make the State a global leader in genomic medicine?”
- Question 5: “Do you favor a $3,000,000 bond issue, to be awarded through a competitive process and to be matched by $5,700,000 in private and public funds, to modernize and expand infrastructure in a biological laboratory specializing in tissue repair and regeneration located in the State in order to increase biotechnology workforce training, retain and recruit to the State multiple biomedical research and development groups and create a drug discovery and development facility that will improve human health and stimulate biotechnology job growth and economic activity?”
- Question 6: “Do you favor a $10,000,000 bond issue to ensure clean water and safe communities across Maine; to protect drinking water sources; to restore wetlands; to create jobs and vital public infrastructure; and to strengthen the State’s long-term economic base and competitive advantage?”
- Question 7: “Do you favor a $7,000,000 bond issue to facilitate the growth of marine businesses and commercial enterprises that create jobs and improve the sustainability of the State’s marine economy and related industries through capital investments, to be matched by at least $7,000,000 in private and other funds?”
Maine’s General Election will be held Tuesday, November 4th, 2014. The Secretary of State’s electronic Absentee Ballot Request service is online as of August 4th.