Maine Transportation Improvements, Question 6 (2009)

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Maine Transportation and Energy Bonds appeared on the November 3, 2009 ballot in Maine as a legislatively-referred state statute where it was approved. The measure proposed issuing $71,250,000 in bonds for transportation and energy programs and projects. The bonds, in turn, would make the state eligible for more than $148 million in federal funds.[1]

The bill was proposed by Gov. John Baldacci and sponsored by House Majority Speaker Hannah Pingree. The House and the Senate both passed the bill on June 13, 2009. Shortly thereafter the bill was signed by the governor. However, the bill had to be enacted by the voters.[2]

Election results

Question 6 was approved as of November 4, 2009 at 2:05 a.m. EST.[3]

Maine Question 6
Approveda Yes 321,930 65.26%

Ballot summary

According to state officials, the ballot question appeared as follows:[1]

Do you favor a $71,250,000 bond issue for improvements to highways and bridges, airports, public transit facilities, ferry and port facilities, including port and harbor structures, as well as funds for the LifeFlight Foundation that will make the State eligible for over $148,000,000 in federal and other matching funds?

Measure details

The bond package included bonds for:[4]

  • Collaboration between Southern Maine Community College and the University of Maine to be developed at the Brunswick Naval Air Station.
  • Renovations at Maine's university campuses, which would include a $5.4 million project at the University of Southern Maine's Bailey Hall in Gorham and a $1.4 million project at the UMaine School of Law in Portland.
  • A technology proving center for off-shore and near-shore wind power.
  • $128 million in funding for transportation projects, including upgrades to the International Marine Terminal in Portland.

Campaign contributions

No support or opposition groups registered with the state ethics commission to raise or spend money for the measure.[5][6]

Media editorial positions

Main article: Endorsements of Maine ballot measures, 2009

Editorial boards in support

  • The Bangor Daily News supported Question 6. They said,"It may seem counterintuitive, but borrowing and spending money — especially on infrastructure — makes more sense during a recession than during boom times. Interest rates are low and the spending can create jobs here in Maine. And most compelling is that the physical improvements made by the bond funding serve as the nuts and bolts of a growing economy. That is why voters should support Question 6, a state bond that will fund projects around the state that affect most, if not all, residents."[7]
  • The Sun Journal supported Question 6. In an editorial they said,"None of what's proposed is particularly controversial, and most would trigger matching funds from private and public sources. The list of projects is a mix of the absolutely necessary — $55 million for roads and bridges, for example — and the sensibly discretionary, like installing a bulk cargo handling system at the port of Eastport and deepening the channel to Mack Point in Searsport."[8]
  • The Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel supported Question 6. They said,"Now is a good time to borrow this money, while interest rates are low and there is little competition from the private sector for contractors' time. They are eager for work and are submitting low bids for government jobs. These are also good areas for investment. They are not maintenance projects. Road and bridge reconstructions will pay off over decades, so it makes sense to borrow money to fund them."[9]
  • The Seacoast Media Group supported Question 6. They said,"This one is a no-brainer. The state's roads and bridges are in deplorable condition, and the Legislature cut its funding to the Department of Transportation earlier this year. The DOT needs this money if the state's decaying infrastructure is not to fall into even further disrepair. It is a necessary investment in Maine. Moreover, it leverages $148 million in federal and other funds. Vote YES on Question 6."[10]
  • The Brunswick Times Record supported Question 6. They said,"Failure to keep pace with our infrastructure needs will threaten our state’s economy, both now and in the future. We urge a “yes” vote on Question 6."[11]

See also

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External links

Additional reading