When voters get to the bottom of the referendum ballot, they will consider whether to borrow $100 million to construct and reconstruct highways and bridges, and to boost funding for marine transportation, aviation, rail and bike/pedestrian paths across the state.

If passed, the money would be matched by another $137 million in federal and other funds.

According to a report compiled by State Treasurer Terry Hayes, voters can expect to pay $33 million in interest on Maine’s portion of the bond, which means the state would ultimately spend $133 million to fund the 10-year bond package.

If passed, the bonds would be issued by the treasurer’s office — under the direction of the governor — and records kept of which projects are funded and what company receives the winning bid, according to the enabling legislation passed during the last legislative session.

The highway and bridges projects that will be funded are those already categorized as priority projects. And under the legislation, other transportation projects chosen for funding must have “demonstrated high transportation economic value.”

According to September polling done by the Portland Press Herald and the University of New Hampshire, 66 percent of Mainers support passage of the bond package.

Hayes’ treasurer’s statement, which is available through the Secretary of State’s office, contains a summary of Maine’s existing bond debt as of June 30.

According to that statement, Maine has $61.6 million in highway fund debt, plus $5.7 million in interest, for a total of $67.3 million in highway debt.

Maine’s General Fund is currently carrying $381 million in outstanding debt, plus $73.9 million in interest, for a total of $455 million.

The treasurer’s office noted that another $148.9 million in bonds has been authorized, either by voters or through the state’s Constitution and laws, but have not been issued.

The total bonded debt for current borrowing that the state must pay by the end of this fiscal year, which is June 30, 2017, is $98.7 million.

In 2015, voters approved an $85 million bond transportation package that is part of the active debt mentioned above.

In June 2017, voters should expect to see a $50 million bond question to fund infrastructure and technology upgrades to assist Maine businesses that is not yet included in these figures.

Question 6:

Do you favor a $100,000,000 bond issue for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities, equipment and property acquisition related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds?

Question 6: Who’s for it; who’s against it?

Yes on 6:

Sen. Ronald Collins, R-York

Sen. Kimberley Rosen, R-Hancock

Rep. Mark Bryant, D-Windham

Rep. Bradley Farrin, R-Norridgewock

Rep. James Gillway, R-Searsport

Rep. Jared Golden, D-Lewiston

Rep. Brian Hobart, R-Bowdoinham

Rep. Andrew McLean, D-Gorham

Rep. Wayne Parry, R-Arundel

Rep. Christine Powers, D-Naples

Rep. Arthur Verow, D-Brewer

Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt

No on 6:

Sen. Andre Cushing, R-Penobscot


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