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Maine Community-based Dental Care, Question 2 (2010)

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The Maine Community-based Dental Care Bond Issues, also known as Question 2, was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in Maine as a legislatively-referred bond question, where it was approved. The measure issued $5 million in bonds to increase access to dental care. Specifically, the allocations of the bonds revenues were $3.5 million for a community-based teaching dental clinic affiliated with or operated by a college of dental medicine to be matched by $3.5 million in other funds and $1.5 million to create or upgrade community-based health and dental clinics to increase their capacity as teaching clinics.[1][2][3]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results

Of the total 580,546 ballot cast, 23,196 were left blank for Question 2.[2]

Maine Question 2 (2010)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 286,645 51.43%
No270,70548.57%

Election results via: Maine Secretary of State, Elections Division, Referendum Election Tabulations, November 2, 2010

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1]

ME2010Nov Question 2 SB.PNG [4]

Summary

The following description of the intent and content of this ballot measure was provided in the Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election:

This Act would authorize the State to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000 to raise funds to be used for a community-based teaching dental clinic and to create or upgrade community-based health and dental clinics across the State to increase their capacity as teaching and dental clinics. 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. The bonds may not be issued before July 1, 2011.

Proceeds of the sale of the bonds are to be awarded on a competitive basis and would be expended under the direction and supervision of the Department of Health and Human Services as follows:

  • $3,500,000 must be expended for a community-based teaching clinic affiliated with or operated by a college of dental medicine and must be matched with $3,500,000 in other funds.
  • $1,500,000 must be expended to create or upgrade community-based health and dental care clinics across the State to increase their capacity as teaching and dental clinics.

If approved, the bond authorization would take effect 30 days after the Governor’s proclamation of the vote. A statement of the Treasurer describing the financial considerations of this bond issue is published together with this statement.

A “YES” vote approves the authorization of the $5,000,000 bond issue to finance all of the activities.

A “NO” vote disapproves the bond issue in its entirety. [4]

Office of the Attorney General, [1]

Fiscal note

Treasurer's Statement for the June 8, 2010 ballot

The following debt service description for these bonds was provided in the Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election:

Total estimated life time cost is $6,237,500 representing $5,000,000 in principal and $1,237,500 in interest (assuming interest at 4.5% over 10 years). [4]

Office of the Treasurer, [1]

The following fiscal impact statement was provided in the Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election:

This bond issue has no significant fiscal impact other than the debt service costs identified above. [4]

Maine Office of Fiscal and Program Review, [1]

Support

Supporters argued that it was imperative voters approve Question 2. According to supporters, 41% of Maine dentists were estimated to be at retirement age in the next decade and there weren't enough current dental students to fill the void.[5]

The official campaign group was Dental Care for ME - Yes on 2!.

Dr. David Drohan, the Chief Dental Officer at Penobscot Community Dental Clinic, said, "Maine itself as a state is an underserved area. The access to dental care is much worse than it is, say for example, for medical care. Probably nearly a quarter of a million people in this state are in underserved areas. What to do about that is something of a debate. But where we are now, is if we can provide that access to care, I think it will do a great deal to solve a lot of health problems here in the state."[6]

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Maine ballot measures, 2010
Healthcare on the ballot in 2010
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Support

  • Brunswick's The Times Record said,

A “yes” vote on Question 2 offers a long-term solution to that problem. It will train more dentists for our state and improve opportunities for dental care for thousands of Mainers. It’s a worthwhile and necessary investment. [4]

—The Times Record editorial board, [7]

Opposition

  • The Maine Campus said,

Clearly, the problem here is hardly the borrowing of the expenses, but rather what it is you are borrowing for. So when faced with the ballot and two smooth-talking, pricey bonds on election day, go for the favorite for all of Maine and leave the other out of the franchise. Vote no on Question 2 and yes on Question 3 and enjoy the natural Maine you’ve grown to love. [4]

—The Maine Campus editorial board, [8]

Path to the ballot

See also: Maine legislatively-referred state statutes

To place the proposal on the ballot, the measure was required to receive at least a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate. The measure was approved by the Maine Legislature and signed by the Governor on April 12, 2010, thus certifying it for the 2010 ballot.[9]

See also

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