AUGUSTA — $243 million would be available for Maine organizations through six different bills if approved.
If passed by the legislature and Maine’s voters, $16 million would be earmarked for a climate change center at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. An additional $20 million would also be available for Maine Public Broadcasting to upgrade its existing equipment.
“We come to you on behalf of the 400,000 Maine households each week who watch and rely on Maine public television stations for information and education,’ said Clare Hannan, COO of Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation.
Lawmakers heard testimony from people whose businesses would benefit if the bond issue was approved.
“It’s absolutely critical that Maine companies have the tools they need to invest in innovation to grow our economy, the strength of our economy depends on it,” said Linda Caprara, senior government affairs analyst on taxation.
Caprara said that because Maine companies compete on a global scale, initiatives like this are crucial in keeping up.
“There are some really exciting things going on in the state in different areas such as biotech, bio-med, renewable generation from our university system,” Caprara said.
For the first two bills out of the six, she said, like many others, that the money is needed.
“Investments in these areas provide huge opportunities for growth,” Caprara said.
Appropriations Committee members will meet in the next few weeks to determine whether they will vote to recommend the full legislature send bond issues to voters to decide their fate.
To find out more information on these bond issues, head to the Maine State Legislature’s website.