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Maine Gov. LePage continues push for roads bond

It is vital to vote this month on the $100 million bond that his administration proposed in order to get it on the ballot by November and start job-creating construction projects, Gov. Paul LePage said in a statement.

The Associated Press

8/9/2013

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul LePage wants lawmakers to return to Augusta this month to vote on a borrowing package for the state's roads and bridges, he said Thursday.

It is vital to vote this month on the $100 million bond that his administration proposed in order to get it on the ballot by November and start job-creating construction projects, LePage said in a statement.

But Democratic leaders say they will take up bond proposals, including the transportation bond and bonds for education and other issues, when they return in September to confirm political appointments.

Democrats point to the governor's refusal to sign off on $100 million in bonds last session until the Legislature approved a plan to repay the state's hospitals. The voter had already approved them. Some of those bonds have now been released.

Maine's Department of Transportation has already accounted for the governor's $100 million bond in work plan for 2014 and 2015 construction projects. Democrats say that those projects will still be able to move forward even if the bonds aren't put on the ballot until June.

But the transportation department says it needs the bonds on the November ballot to have enough time to plan those long-term projects. Commissioner David Berhardt said there are steps the state needs to be doing now to attract economic developers for projects that they can't do without the promise of that funding.


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