AUGUSTA — Leaders of the state Legislature’s Democratic majority and Republican Gov. Paul LePage announced late Friday they had reached a deal on a $149.5 million state borrowing package they hope to put before voters in November.

The funding would be used for a variety of statewide infrastructure improvements, including repairs and reconstruction for state-owned roads and bridges. About $24 million of the funding will also go toward improvements the state’s port facility in Portland and railway intermodal facilities around Maine.

Another $14 million will go toward improving the state’s military armories.

“We had productive discussions with legislative leadership, and we were able to put together a bond package based on my original proposal that is a good deal for the people of Maine,” LePage said in a prepared statement Friday. “Our roads, bridges and ports are important economic drivers that help create jobs, but the federal government is flat-funding transportation projects.”

Democrats said they were pleased the package included funding for improvements at University of Maine System campuses as well as funding for community colleges and Maine Maritime Academy.

In a recent meeting of the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, lawmakers learned that 70 percent of the state’s university buildings were more than 25 years old.

“We are pleased to be able forge a comprehensive deal that will provide broad infrastructure investments and inject long-overdue funds into our state’s economy,” House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, said in a prepared statement. “Democrats fought hard for bonds that will help stimulate our economy now and in the future.”

Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, said lawmakers also reached an agreement with Republicans to take up another borrowing package in January that will target research and development.

“We heard from the business community that Maine’s infrastructure and education systems must remain competitive. This bond prepares our workforce for the jobs of the future and gets people back to work,” Alfond said in a prepared statement. “It’s time to see more hardhats working on our schools, roads and bridges.”

Democrats said the Appropriations Committee would convene soon to take up the package and pass it on to the full Legislature, which is expected to convene in the days ahead to send the measure to the voters in November.

The proposed bond package includes $76 million for highways and bridges, $24 million for multimodal improvements, $15.5 million for the University of Maine System, $15.5 million for the Community College System, $4.5 million for Maine Maritime Academy and $14 million for Maine Armory maintenance and renovation. 


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