Governor Paul LePage will let four of the five bond proposals go to Maine voters in November without his signature. The State of Maine 125th Legislature presented the Governor the bond proposals last week for his consideration.
Governor LePage decided Friday to withhold his signature on the following:
* LD 359, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Wastewater and Drinking Water Revolving Loan Funds
* LD 852, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support Maine's Natural Resource-based Economy
* LD 874, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Higher Education
* LD 894, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Invest in Transportation Infrastructure To Meet the Needs of the Business Sector and To Create Jobs
"While these bond proposals were authorized by Legislators, it does not mean that we need to spend the money. I cannot personally support any of these bonds and will not vote for them at the polls in November," said Governor LePage. "Even with the voters' authorization to borrow this money, my Administration will not spend it until we've lowered our debt significantly. That could be several years." Meanwhile, the Governor chose to veto the following bond:
* LD 225, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue in the Amount of $20,000,000 To Fund Research and Development
In his veto message, Governor LePage highlights two issues that led to his decision. "First, we are using debt to pay operational costs. If the Legislature truly believes we should spend $20 million on research and development, then we should reduce spending elsewhere in the budget and pay for it out of the General Fund," the Governor wrote, "Second, the majority of the funds from these bonds in the past have gone to government programs and not-for-profits. Taxpayer dollars should go towards R&D only when we can demonstrate a specific return on that investment. That return must be measured in taxes and jobs. Both of those rightly come in the private sector."
Additionally, Governor LePage signed the following three bills:
* LD 849, An Act To Provide Tax Relief for Maine's Citizens by Reducing Income Taxes
* LD 905, An Act Regarding the Distribution and Sale of Spirits
* LD 1750, An Act To Create the Maine Board of Tax Appeals
He vetoed two additional bills which include:
* LD 807, An Act To Limit the Bonding Authority of the Maine Governmental Facilities Authority to Court Facility Projects
* LD 1469, An Act To Increase Gaming Opportunities for Charitable Fraternal and Veterans' Organizations