March 10, 2010

Baldacci releases $79M bond package

By Susan M. Cover
State House Bureau

Gov. John Baldacci proposed a $79 million borrowing package today that he said will create nearly 2,000 jobs.

The package includes $62 million for highway, port and rail projects, and $17 million for environmental and energy needs.

"This is not a laundry list of ideas,” Baldacci said during the announcement in his office. “Instead, it's focused on investments to build Maine's economic capacity into the future while creating jobs today.”

Maine voters will already consider three other bond issues on the June ballot related to economic development, energy efficiency and water and wastewater improvements. If approved by lawmakers, a transportation question will be added to the ballot and other questions will be re-written to reflect the new projects, Baldacci said.

His announcement comes a week after Democrats in the Legislature put forward a $99 million bond package proposal. Both proposals will now go to the Appropriations Committee for consideration.

The Baldacci proposal includes $8 million for the Ocean Gateway Deep Water Pier in Portland.

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