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New Maine Governor Pushes $43M R&D Bond Package

February 14, 2003

Governor John Baldacci used his February 5 budget address to outline a proposal to float a $70 million economic development bond, the majority of which would be dedicated to research and development projects. Citing the successful results of several R&D bond packages approved by voters over the past five years – with last summer's $35 million bond being the most recent – Gov. Baldacci wants the state to take advantage of historically low interest rates and the state's good bond rating to commit an additional $43 million for R&D projects.

The Governor says the funds will support the joint biomedical research efforts of the University of Maine System, Jackson Laboratory, and the other biomedical research organizations around the state. Other funds will continue research in natural resource based industries in the university system.

In addition, Gov. Baldacci called for using a portion of the funding to establish a revolving loan fund to assist in equipping new business start-ups that have evolved from the natural resource industries research.

The final tech-related component of the economic development bond includes support for equipment needed by Maine's Technical Colleges to move toward becoming a true two-year community college system that offers career and transfer programs and low tuition.

Gov. Baldacci's budget address is available at: http://www.state.me.us/governor/baldacci/news/speeches/index.html