MECEP Praises Bipartisan Agreement on Bonds

$57.8 million package represents an important step toward job creation and economic recovery
Augusta, Maine (Monday, April 12, 2010)—The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) today praised Maine legislators on a compromise that will send a $57.8 million bond package to the voters for their approval on June 8. 

“We are pleased that Maine lawmakers have reached a bipartisan agreement that will give the voters an opportunity later this spring to approve funding for critically important investments that will preserve and create hundreds of jobs here in Maine and move us toward economic recovery,” said MECEP Executive Director Christopher “Kit” St. John.  “MECEP strongly supported the original $99 million bond package proposed in March by Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell and House Speaker Hannah Pingree.  While the $57.8 million compromise will not provide as great a boost to job creation and economic recovery, it will protect critically important rail lines from abandonment and ensure funding for important ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure improvements.” 

In March, MECEP estimated that, in addition to saving hundreds of jobs threatened by the imminent abandonment of rail lines in Aroostook County, the $99 million proposal would have created more than 2,400 jobs. MECEP also testified before the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee that even at $99 million, a bond package would be well within long-accepted state bonded indebtedness guidelines.

MECEP is Maine’s leading non-profit research and policy development organization working toward “a prosperous, fair, and sustainable economy; vital communities; rich civic engagement; and a healthy environment.”