Maine Water Quality Bonds Issue, Question 5 (June 2010)
The measure called for issuing a water bond for improving water quality, supporting drinking water programs, construction of wastewater treatment facilities and development of environmentally sound water sources by farmers.
Official election results via the Maine Secretary of State.
Text of measure
"Do you favor a $10,250,000 bond issue to improve water quality, support drinking water programs and the construction of wastewater treatment facilities and to assist farmers in the development of environmentally sound water sources that will leverage $33,250,000 in federal and other funds?
The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce voted May 20, 2010 to endorse the four bond measures that appeared on the statewide ballot. According to board Chair Michael Ballesteros the bonds were in line with the chamber's interest's of the state's business community. The Portland Chamber of Commerce also supported the bond measures.
Gov. John Baldacci supported the four June 2010 bond measures. In his weekly radio address he said the bonds would help boost the economy, help small businesses and support energy independence. Baldacci noted that he understood the reluctance to vote in favor of the measures but argued that Maine was conservative with borrowing and paid its debt in less than half the time it takes most states.
Tactics and strategies
In May 2010 Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, said a coalition was being formed to launch an advertising campaign in support of the bond proposals. According to Connors they were planning to do some "advertising." Connors argued that the bonds would help create jobs.
Some supporters said that although they did support the proposed bonds on the June 8, 2010 ballot, they worried that voters wouldn't readily approve them, particularly because the state and the country were coming out of a recession. Chris Hall, vice president of the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce said that supporters had to work hard to convince voters. "We did have some members on our board that opposed our endorsement because of those same concerns. But most, more than 60 percent, supported all of the bond package," he said.
The Maine Heritage Policy Center was opposed to the bonds scheduled to appear on the June 2010 ballot. Center President Tarren Bragdon said that while bonds were appropriate for some state needs, Maine had too much debt. "It’s our hope that the voters will reject some of these and send a strong message to the politicians in Augusta that if you are not going to be responsible with our credit card, then we will take matters into our own hands and vote no. We are going to say no more debt, not now."
Scott Moody, an economist for the center, wrote a study which ultimately concluded that Maine's debt would leave lawmakers with two options: reduce spending or raise taxes. "Before any new debt is approved, Mainers should insist that legislators deal with these ballooning, unfunded retirement liabilities first and foremost," said Moody.
- Main article: Endorsements of Maine ballot measures, 2010
- The Bangor Daily News supported Bond Questions 2, 3, 4 and 5. In an editorial the board said, "States, unlike the federal government, are unable to spend into the red. That’s a good thing. But with interest rates at historic lows, these bonds are a bargain for building and rebuilding Maine. They should be passed."
- The Brunswick Times Record supported Bond Question 5. "Our public water infrastructure is aging — with water mains, in some cases, more than 100 years old. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is pushing towns and cities to eliminate the “combined sewer overflows” that occur after heavy rains. These are two good reasons to approve this bond. Another is that upwards of 20 projects are “ready to go” this summer — including the Bath Water District’s much-needed water main upgrade on Centre Street. All that’s needed is a “yes” vote on Question 5," said the editorial board.
- The Journal Tribune supported the bond question. In an editorial the board said, "Last week the Journal Tribune endorsed the four bond issues on Maine’s June 8 ballot. We recommended “Yes” votes on Questions 2-5, proposed bond issues that serve the interests of Maine’s people."
Path to the ballot
- Maine Energy Efficiency Bonds Issue, Question 2 (2010)
- Maine Jobs Bond Issue, Question 3 (2010)
- Maine Economic Development and Job Bonds Issue, Question 4 (2010)
- Early results reveal approval of most Maine measures including a tax reform veto
- Mainers cast their ballots on tax reform and bond measures
- Maine ballot measure order set for June 8 ballot
- Summary of LD 913: "An Act To Authorize Bond Issues for Ratification by the Voters for the November 2009 and June 2010 Elections"
- LD 913 full text
- Associated Press,"Maine's Voter Turnout Appears To Be Low," June 8, 2010
- Sanford News,"State's primary is this Tuesday; ballot to include referendum questions and school budget validation," June 3, 2010
- Associated Press,"Maine Voters To Decide Bond Questions," May 16, 2010
- The Free Press,"June Statewide Ballot Questions," May 13, 2010
- WCSH6,"Lawmakers debate jobs bond proposals," March 29, 2010
- Associated Press,"Mainers Approve All 4 Bonds On Ballot," June 9, 2010
- Morning Sentinel,"Mainers approve all 4 bonds on ballot," June 9, 2010
- Business Week,"Maine Voters Halt Income Tax Cut in Ballot Question (Update2)," June 9, 2010
- 'Maine Legislature,"LD 913 full text," retrieved February 9, 2010
- Maine Public Broadcasting Network,"Order of June Ballot Questions Determined," April 14, 2010
- Maine Secretary of State,"Upcoming elections: June 8, 2010," retrieved March 2, 2010
- Associated Press,"Regional Chamber of Commerce endorses Maine bonds," May 20, 2010
- The Portland Press Herald,"Baldacci asks voters to support bond issues," May 22, 2010
- Associated Press,"Gov Urges Mainers To Vote For Bond Proposals," June 5, 2010
- Bangor Daily News,"Bond backers fear rejection at the polls," May 20, 2010
- Maine Public Broadcasting Network,"Bond Package: Desperately Needed, or Dragging Maine into Sea of Debt?," May 18, 2010
- Bangor Daily News,"Bond question advocates getting word out," June 2, 2010
- Bangor Daily News,"Bonds Will Boost Maine," May 26, 2010
- The Times Record,"‘Yes’ on Question 3," June 1, 2010
- The Journal Tribune,"An investment in harnessing offshore wind energy," May 28, 2010
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