Grohman amendment revives $6.5 million in bonds that expired without LePage’s sign-off
AUGUSTA – The House on Tuesday unanimously gave its final approval to a measure reauthorizing $6.5 million in voter-approved Land for Maine’s Future bonds as part of a bipartisan effort to revive the expired bonds. The vote was 145-0.
“It was great to see how Land for Maine’s Future brought the Legislature together. We did important work today to ensure our state’s most important land conservation effort continues to successfully protect access for all Mainers,” said Rep. Martin Grohman, D-Biddeford, an avid hunter and supporter of Land for Maine’s Future.
An amendment from Grohman last week stripped the original text of LD 1454 and replaced it with a 5-year reauthorization of bonds approved by voters in 2010. The bonds expired in November, on the first regular day of the deer hunting season, when Gov. Paul LePage failed to release them.
“Today was a win for voters, outdoorsmen and women, outdoor recreation businesses and other Mainers who recognize the importance of Land for Maine’s Future to our economy – particularly for rural Maine. It will be great to see these voter-approved bonds released and preserving land for recreation and waterfront, forestry and farming jobs,” said House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, a Maine guide and a leading proponent in the effort to free the bonds.
“We are delighted that legislators from both sides of the aisle voted unanimously today to reinstate the 2010 Land for Maine’s Future bond that expired in November,” said Beth Ahearn, legislative director for Maine Conservation Voters. “Majority Leader McCabe’s leadership during the effort was instrumental in this victory for Maine voters. Already promised LMF funding can now be invested in more than 30 projects across Maine to benefit our economy and provide recreational opportunities to all.”
The Legislature opened the second session by coming together on this issue. The House on the first day of session passed an order to recall LD 1454 from the governor’s desk, and the Senate followed suit. The cooperation prevented a veto of the bill and provided the opportunity to amend it.
LD 1454 faces further action in the Senate.
Ann Kim [Grohman, McCabe] 233-1838