This measure passed.

The gist

This referendum would allow the state to raise $105 million to pay for transportation upgrades and maintenance.

Ballot question

“Do you favor a $105,000,000 bond issue for construction, 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, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds, and for the upgrade of municipal culverts at stream crossings?”1

Yes means No means
I am in favor of issuing a bond to pay for transportation maintenance. I don't want to issue a bond to pay for transportation maintenance.

Tell me more

This referendum will allow the state to take advantage of $137 million in federal matching funds and complete construction and repairs related to transportation and environmental protection in the state. Municipalities who benefit from the work will also contribute 50% of the cost of projects. Two thirds of both chambers of the legislature voted to put this bond on the ballot.

Follow the money

Principal: $105 million2
Interest: $29 million2

The money will be used to:

  • $80 million to build or repair highways and bridges1
  • $80 million to repair or acquire facilities and equipment for other types of transportation, such as ports, aviation, rail, and trails1
    Department of Environmental Protection:
  • $5 million for a competitive grant program that provides matching funds to upgrade culverts at streams to protect wildlife1

The money will be coming from:

  • A bond issued by the state
  • $137 million in federal matching funds
  • Matching funds from municipalities (they will be required to match 50% or more of transportation costs)


The primary arguments for this referendum are:

  • Maine’s roads and infrastructure are deteriorating
  • Makes up for some of the shortfall in gas taxes from fuel efficient vehicles that has left the funds for highway repairs insufficient
  • Opens up federal matching funds
  • This is supported by the state legislature


The primary arguments against this referendum are:

  • Borrowing money for repairs decouples it from the amount of vehicles that are on the road

Further reading

Full Text
Ballotpedia Article


  1. S.P. 543 - L.D. 1552. Accessed September 19, 2017  2 3 4

  2. Dunlop, M. Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election. Accessed October 5, 2017.  2