The state appropriations committee Friday approved a $95 million bond package for education, transportation and R&D, but Gov. Paul LePage over the weekend said he wouldn't back the bond package until the state finalizes its current fiscal-year budget in May.
The package approved by the committee includes investments for ports in Searsport and Eastport, improvements to roads and bridges, and money for the Maine Community College System, University of Maine System and Maine Maritime Academy, according to a press release from the Senate Republican Office. The committee unanimously supported more than $51 million in transportation and port spending, $20 million in R&D funding and nearly $8 million in drinking/clean water improvements. The committee was nearly split 7-6 on $11 million for higher education, and voted 10-3 for $5 million for Land for Maine's Future.
LePage, who has maintained that all bonds need to be approved by Maine voters, said in his weekly radio address Saturday that "bonds are not the answer to our problems." He didn't say whether he'd veto it, according to The Associated Press. He said lawmakers still need to address welfare spending in the current budget when they reconvene in May.