Over $95M in bond proposals get initial support from AFA Committee

Posted on April 26, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

From the press release:

The Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee tonight gave near unanimous support to five separate bond proposals totaling $95.6 million in needed investments to help create jobs.

“These public investments will create jobs now and grow good-paying jobs for the future,” said Rep. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, the lead House Democrat on the committee. “The state could afford to do even more to create jobs but there was little political will from our Republican colleagues to do so.”

Among the bond proposals:

– $51 million for transportation improvements
– $7.9 million for water and wastewater treatment
– $20 million for research and development grants
– $5 million for land conservation
– $11.3 million for higher education

More via BDN:

The bonds were crafted from 26 individual bills, some that were submitted last year and carried over and some that were introduced earlier this year. The original bills ranged in size from a few hundred thousands to tens of millions. Many of them overlapped.

The Appropriations Committee voted on each bond proposal individually rather than as a package and it appears as though that strategy is deliberate. If bonds are separated out rather than passed as a package, the governor would have the opportunity to veto them individually. If it’s put forward as a package, it’s all or nothing.

“We are concerned that the separate vote will set up one or more of the proposals to fail,”
said Senator Dawn Hill, D-York. “If all five bonds pass the Legislature, the Republicans have given the governor a menu of options to reject rather than a single bipartisan package that was negotiated in good faith that we could all stand behind.”

Governor LePage earlier this week said again that he would not support a borrowing proposal until lawmakers addressed settling the DHHS budget.

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