An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Improve Highways, Bridges and Multimodal Facilities
Maine Ballot Measure - Question 1
Election: Nov. 5, 2019 (General)
Government Budget and Spending
This Act would authorize the State to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed one hundred and five million dollars ($105,000,000), to raise funds for transportation projects as described below. The bonds would run for a period not longer than 10 years from the date of issue and would be backed by the full faith and credit of the State.
One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) in proceeds from the sale of these bonds would be administered by the Department of Transportation for the following purposes:
Highways, secondary roads and bridges - eighty-five million dollars ($85,000,000) would be expended to:
*construct, reconstruct or rehabilitate state highways that have been designated as Priority 1, 2 or 3 by the Department of Transportation in accordance with state statute (23 M.R.S. § 73(7));
*replace and rehabilitate bridges; and
*repair secondary roads in partnership with municipalities pursuant to the existing Municipal Partnership Initiative program.
Municipalities are required to contribute 50% or more of the project costs under the Municipal Partnership Initiative program, which is described on the Department's web site at http://maine.gov/mdot/planning/. Highway and bridge projects are matched with federal funds on a ratio of 1.1 to 1 (federal to state) dollars.
Multi-modal projects - Fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000) would be expended on facilities and equipment, including property acquisition, related to freight and passenger railroads, transit (public transportation), ports, marine transportation, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The intent is to fund projects that preserve public safety or otherwise demonstrate high transportation value.
The bond proceeds for the above categories of projects are expected to be matched by one hundred and thirty-seven million dollars ($137,000,000) in federal and local matching funds.
Four million dollars ($4,000,000) in proceeds from the sale of these bonds would be administered by the Department of Environmental Protection to fund a competitive grant program to upgrade or replace municipal culverts at stream crossings in order to improve fish and wildlife habitats, reduce flood hazards and improve storm water management. Local governments, municipal conservation commissions, soil and water conservation districts and private nonprofit organizations would be eligible to apply for these grants and would be required to provide some matching funds. Project proposals will be evaluated based on criteria including the extent to which the project will allow communities to more effectively prepare for storm and flood events; how well the project will advance the goals of restoring fish habitat; and how cost-effective the investment will be based on the proportion of total funding that will come from other sources and what other potential costs will be avoided.
One million dollars ($1,000,000) in proceeds from the sale of these bonds would be administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development to fund the renovation of a wharf and bulkhead at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland so that those facilities can be used as a berth for commercial fishing vessels as well as vessels used for marine research that will support long-term development of marine-related jobs.
If approved, the authorization of these bonds would take effect 30 days after the Governor's proclamation of the vote.
A "Yes" vote approves the issuance of up to one hundred and five million dollars ($105,000,000) in general obligation bonds to finance transportation-related activities.
A "No" vote opposes the bond issue in its entirety.
Do you favor a $105,000,000 bond issue to build or improve roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit and ports and make other transportation investments, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds?
Yes ( ) No ( )