Governor Offers Bill to Extend Deadline on Land for Maine’s Future Bonds
July 15, 2015
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage Wednesday announced he has submitted legislation to extend the land conservation bond authorized in 2010, which is set to expire in November.
Under the Maine Constitution, bonds may be reauthorized, provided the Legislature votes to reauthorize within 2 years of expiration of the bonds. Governor LePage delivered his bill, which is sponsored by House Republican leader Ken Fredette, Wednesday to the Revisor’s Office reauthorizing the 2010 land conservation bond until the end of fiscal year 2016 – June 30, 2016.
In return, the Governor would like to use this additional year that the bill will provide to work with the Legislature on the land conservation issue.
“I am not opposed to the Land for Maine’s Future Program,” said Governor LePage. “What I have repeatedly shared with the Legislature is that before the State spends more money on more land conservation, which primarily benefits the wealthy, I want to first make sure that we take care of Maine’s neediest.”
Currently there is $8 million in an account that is funded by the harvest of timber on state-owned land. The Governor has proposed on more than one occasion, including in a Governor’s bill during this past session, that the State utilize $5 million from this account to help Maine’s poor with home heating costs. However, the Governor’s bill was killed.
“This bond reauthorization bill will provide more time for legislators to discuss how we can help low income Mainers keep warm and address land conservation needs,” said Governor LePage.