AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Legislators voted Thursday night to send a $105 million transportation bond to Maine voters. But two other borrowing requests — a $55 million research and development bond and a $40 million bond to help pay student debt — both failed to get the needed two-thirds majority vote.
Republicans in the House said prior to the vote that they were concerned about the state spending too much, in light of the new budget and uncertainty over the potential impact of a referendum vote in November on expanding Medicaid.
The Senate passed both the transportation and R&D bonds with a two-thirds majority vote, but the student debt bond fell short there as well.
A spokesperson for the Democrats said both the R&D and student debt bonds, which have also been supported by Gov. LePage, will be brought up again at the Legislature's final "veto day" Aug. 2.
In other action Thursday, lawmakers rejected the citizen initiative for a southern Maine casino, which means the question will now go to Maine voters for a statewide referendum.
The proposal has been controversial because of questions about the people sponsoring the petition. However, the spokesperson for the secretary of state said it will be "sent to voters to make the decision."