Voters will decide seven important measures in November

10 years ago

Voters will decide
seven important measures in November

From the Maine House

By Rep. Robert Saucier
(D-Presque Isle)

    This November, Maine voters will decide the fate of seven referendum questions.

Voter turnout is notoriously low during off-year elections, but this year’s ballot measures are incredibly important to our state and deserve our attention. The citizens who do vote will in many ways choose the path forward for Maine.
So that readers may familiarize themselves with the information they need to make their decisions, below are the questions in the order and wording with which they will appear on the ballot.
The first of the questions that will appear on the ballot, Question 1, reads, “Do you want to ban the use of bait, dogs or traps in bear hunting except to protect property, public safety, or for research?”
This question appears on the ballot as a Citizen Initiative. The initiative process involves a petition drive which, if successful, sends the question to the Legislature. The Legislature can either approve the measure or send it to voters statewide, as it did with Question 1.
The six additional referendum questions are bond issues. Five of these measures were crafted by the Legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future after in-depth conversations with business leaders and economic experts and are designed to make targeted investments focused on stimulating the economy and promoting job growth. The sixth, the clean water bond, invests in Maine’s water infrastructure to protect our natural resources, promote public health and create jobs.
The $50 million plan earned overwhelming support in the Legislature for several reasons. Each dollar we invest will leverage additional money from other sources, matching our investment as much as sixteen to one. Taken together, these funds will put Mainers to work and target areas with the potential for growth.
Question 2 reads, “Do you favor an $8,000,000 bond issue to support Maine agriculture, facilitate economic growth in natural resources-based industries and monitor human health threats related to ticks, mosquitoes and bedbugs through the creation of an animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service?”
Question 3 will be, “Do you favor a bond issue to provide $4,000,000 in funds to insure portions of loans to small businesses to spur investment and innovation and to provide $8,000,000 in funds to make flexible loans to small businesses to create jobs, revitalize downtowns and strengthen the rural economy?”
Question 4 reads, “Do you favor a $10,000,000 bond issue, to be awarded through a competitive process and to be matched by $11,000,000 in private and other funds, to build a research center and to discover genetic solutions for cancer and the diseases of aging, to promote job growth and private sector investment in this State, to attract and retain young professionals and make the State a global leader in genomic medicine?”
Question 5 will be, “Do you favor a $3,000,000 bond issue, to be awarded through a competitive process and to be matched by $5,700,000 in private and public funds, to modernize and expand infrastructure in a biological laboratory specializing in tissue repair and regeneration located in the State in order to increase biotechnology workforce training, retain and recruit to the State multiple biomedical research and development groups and create a drug discovery and development facility that will improve human health and stimulate biotechnology job growth and economic activity?”
Question 6 is the proposal to invest in our state’s water infrastructure, from providing clean drinking water statewide to preparing for severe storms to conserving habitat for recreational fisheries and wildlife. It reads, “Do you favor a $10,000,000 bond issue to ensure clean water and safe communities across Maine; to protect drinking water sources; to restore wetlands; to create jobs and vital public infrastructure; and to strengthen the State’s long-term economic base and competitive advantage?”
The final measure, Question 7, will be, “Do you favor a $7,000,000 bond issue to facilitate the growth of marine businesses and commercial enterprises that create jobs and improve the sustainability of the State’s marine economy and related industries through capital investments, to be matched by at least $7,000,000 in private and other funds?”
Election Day is Nov. 4. Registered voters can request absentee ballots from now until the Thursday prior to Election Day online at or by contacting the City Clerk’s Department at 760-2720 if you are a Presque Isle resident.
Rep. Saucier is a first-term legislator representing part of Presque Isle. He serves on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee and the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee.