FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017
Contact: Kristen Muszynski
Secretary Dunlap announces
final wording of referendum questions
AUGUSTA – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has finalized the wording of the two citizens’ initiative questions that will appear on the Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 Referendum Election ballot. Below is the title of each initiative and the final question that will appear on the ballot:
QUESTION 1: An Act To Allow Slot Machines or a Casino in York County.
“Do you want to allow a certain company to operate table games and/or slot machines in York County, subject to state and local approval, with part of the profits going to the specific programs described in the initiative?”
QUESTION 2: An Act To Enhance Access to Affordable Health Care.
“Do you want Maine to expand Medicaid to provide healthcare coverage for qualified adults under age 65 with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level, which in 2017 means $16,643 for a single person and $22,412 for a family of two?”
The full text of each proposed bill is available for viewing on the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions’ Upcoming Elections webpage.
Secretary Dunlap received more than 150 comments on the wording of these initiatives during the 30-day public comment period, which was open Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017 through Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. He reviewed and considered these comments, which were submitted from individuals and organizations throughout the state, during drafting of the final ballot question language.
“Crafting the ballot questions is always a challenge, given the need to accurately summarize complex legislation,” said Secretary Dunlap. “We try to capture the essence of each proposal in the question, but it is incumbent upon the voters to educate themselves on all of the details, which cannot be intelligibly included in that single sentence on the ballot.”
The Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions will create a Citizens’ Guide to the 2017 Election this fall, which will be available on the website and at public libraries across the state. All voters are encouraged to read it to inform themselves of the details of each bill, including the fiscal impact statements.
In addition to the citizens’ initiative questions, the November Referendum Election ballot will also include one bond question and one constitutional amendment, both of which will appear below the citizens’ initiative questions on the ballot. The legislation titles are listed below, along with the questions that will appear on the ballot:
QUESTION 3: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Improve Highways, Bridges and Multimodal Facilities and Upgrade Municipal Culverts - Legislation
“Do you favor a $105,000,000 bond issue for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities or equipment related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds, and for the upgrade of municipal culverts at stream crossings?”
QUESTION 4: Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Reduce Volatility in State Pension Funding Requirements Caused by the Financial Markets - Legislation
“Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to reduce volatility in state pension funding requirements caused by the financial markets by increasing the length of time over which experience losses are amortized from 10 years to 20 years, in line with pension industry standards?”
For more information about the November 2017 Referendum Election, visit http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/index.html. Information on voter registration and locating your polling place is also available on the Corporations, Elections and Commissions website.