Many Maine voters will have just one question on the ballot when they go to the polls this coming Tuesday, June 13.
That question is worded as follows:
“Do you favor a $50,000,000 bond issue to provide $45,000,000 in funds for investment in research, development and commercialization in the State to be used for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades that enable organizations to gain and hold market share, to increase revenues and to expand employment or preserve jobs for Maine people, to be awarded through a competitive process to Maine-based public and private entities, leveraging other funds in a one-to-one ratio and $5,000,000 in funds to create jobs and economic growth by lending to or investing in small businesses with the potential for significant growth and strong job creation?”
The Maine Attorney general’s Office issued the following explanation of the proposed bond:
“Proceeds of the sale of the bonds would be expended as follows: Forty-five million dollars ($45,000,000) would be distributed by the Maine Technology Institute in the form of grants to support infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades in the following targeted technology sectors: biotechnology, aquaculture and marine technology, composite materials technology, environmental technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, information technology, and precision manufacturing technology. Funds would be awarded to public and private entities in Maine through a competitive process, and recipients would be required to match these State dollars with an equivalent amount of federal or private funds.
“Five million dollars ($5,000,000) would be placed in the Small Enterprise Growth Fund, which is administered by the Finance Authority of Maine and disbursed at the direction of the Small Enterprise Growth Board, for investments in qualifying small businesses that demonstrate the potential for high-growth and public benefit. The statute establishing this Fund defines a small business as one that employs fifty or fewer employees or had gross sales of five million dollars ($5,000,000) or less within the last twelve months for which financial data is available. Eligible businesses are those involved in: marine sciences, biotechnology, manufacturing, export of goods or services out of state or that result in significant amounts of capital being imported into the State, software development, environmental services or technologies, financial or insurance products or services, value-added goods from natural resources, and any other enterprises found to meet the purposes and intent of the program. Applicants must provide evidence of commitment of all reasonably available resources to the project and a need for the financial assistance from the fund in order to realize projected growth and achievement of public benefits.
“If approved, the authorization of these bonds would take effect 30 days after the Governor’s proclamation of the vote.
“A “YES” vote approves the issuance of up to fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) in general obligation bonds to finance the activities described above.”
Some communities will have other business at the polls, including Milford, which will have three seats up for grabs on the board of selectmen and three on the school committee, and Bradley, where there are two open seats on the town council; the only contested seats, however, are for a two-year term on Milford’s board of selectmen and two three-year terms on its school committee. Bradley residents also will be voting on the town budget.

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