Governor LePage Reaches Bipartisan Agreement on Bond Package
August 16, 2013
For Immediate Release: Friday, August 16
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage announced Friday that an agreement has been reached on a bond package to include $100 million in infrastructure funding for improvements to highways and bridges, as well as ports and railroads. The proposed total of the bond package is $149.5 million.
“Paying off the half-billion-dollar hospital debt allows the State to responsibly borrow for necessary infrastructure projects,” said the Governor, noting that fixing Maine's fiscal house is a priority. “Now that the session is over and lawmakers have been gone for a few weeks, everything has been much calmer in the State House. We had productive discussions with legislative leadership, and we were able to put together a bond package based on my original proposal that is a good deal for the people of Maine.”
On Wednesday, Governor LePage said he was willing to compromise on a bond package to not exceed $150 million. The proposed bond provides $76 million for improvement to highways and bridges, and it provides job stability to those in the construction industry, where more than 8,000 jobs have been lost since 2006. Another $24 million is allocated for improvements to multimodal facilities that would support projects such as major development on the Portland waterfront, and preserve rail connections for Maine businesses.
“Our roads, bridges and ports are important economic drivers that help create jobs, but the federal government is flat-funding transportation projects. Now is the time for the State to invest in these much-needed infrastructure improvements, create jobs and stability for the construction industry,” the Governor added.
Governor LePage was willing to consider other areas that proved to be long-term investments needed to improve Maine’s education infrastructure, as well as armories around the State, which require renovations.
“I am pleased that we included $14 million to maintain and upgrade our armories. We owe it to Maine’s military services to provide them with the updated facilities they deserve.
The proposed bond package includes:
Highway and Bridges $76 million
Multimodal Improvements $24 million
Total Transportation $100 million
University of Maine System $15.5 million
Maine Community College System $15.5 million
Maine Maritime Academy $4.5 million
Total Higher Education $35.5 million
Maine Armory Maintenance and Renovation $14 million
Total Military $14 million
Total Bond $149.5 million