‘Back to Work’ bond package for special legislative session

Stemming from work in the Economic Recovery Committee, here is a package of economic development bonds that I am proposing in discussion with colleagues for a special legislative session.

If the legislature could agree promptly, these could be put before the voters in November and potentially be in place to benefit the economy in 2021.

Broadband
Broadband Internet service in unserved and underserved areas through ConnectME Authority grants to partnerships between private, municipal and nongovernmental service providers Connect Maine ERC; LD 295 Berry; LD 354 Herbig
Transportation
Reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities or equipment related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails DOT ERC, LD 1604
Capital for businesses and leverage for R&D
Innovation Capital: grants to innovation sector enterprises to alleviate immediate access to capital issues MTI, FAME ERC
Research, development and commercialization in support of technological innovation leading to commercialization in the targeted sectors of life sciences and biomedical technology, environmental and renewable energy technology, information technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, aquaculture and marine technology, composites and advanced materials and precision manufacturing DECD LD 111 Hubbell,
Research, development, commercialization and clinical infrastructure assets in Maine to improve outcomes for Maine families suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia and other diseases of aging MTI LD 455 Luchini
Facilitate the growth of the commercial fishing and aquaculture sectors of the State’s marine economy through research and development and workforce development DMR, MTI, DECD LD 1705, Jackson
Add reserves to Commercial Loan Insurance program to stablize foreclosures FAME
Fund Regional Economic Development Revolving Loan Program FAME
Tax credit for for employee stock ownership plans, eligible worker-owned cooperatives, consumer cooperatives and affordable housing cooperatives LD 1520 Libby
Housing
Construction of new energy-efficient affordable homes for low-income seniors, the adaptive reuse of structures for homes for low-income seniors and the repair and weatherization of existing homes for low-income seniors
Maine State Housing Authority
LD 1205 Eves (2015)
Build housing for persons who are homeless LD 48 Brennan
School buildings and equipment
Solar arrays, high-efficiency ductless heat pumps and high-efficiency modern wood heating systems for buildings and property owned by municipalities and school administrative units Efficiency Maine Trust LD 1119 Luchini
Recapitalize the School Revolving Renovation Fund for the purpose of providing funds to public schools for renovation and capital repairs DoE, Maine Municipal Bond Bank LD 148 Millett; LD 469 Farnsworth
Capital improvements to and purchase equipment for career and technical education centers and regions DoE LD 859 R. Fecteau
Workforce and training
Workforce retraining and targeted match-making programs through Maine’s Community College System, Maine Quality Centers, other institutions of higher learning, the Maine Industry Workforce Partnership program and registered apprenticeship programs. ERC
Food systems
Create Maine Food System Investment Program under the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to strengthen the food system, including the agriculture, seafood and fisheries and other food sectors and the supply chain, to increase access to new markets and opportunities for producers, processors, small businesses and consumers in the State in the producing, processing, packaging, distribution, marketing, sale and consumption of food products. DACF, FAME ERC working group; LD 1531 Talbot-Ross; LD 400 Hickman

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