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Urge Maine State Legislators to Protect State Transportation Funding
At approximately 1:30 am on Saturday, April 6th, the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs advanced a change to Maine's two-year budget that could yield a $60 million loss annually for roads and bridges, while upending the traditional budgeting process. One amendment that was introduced would take $11 million in surplus transportation funding this year, and $60 million in each subsequent year, and direct into the General Fund for yet-to-be specified uses.

That funding is available in part because of a bipartisan deal enacted by the Maine Legislature less than a year ago that used a portion of sales taxes on vehicle purchases and other use taxes for the highway budget and road and bridge projects. The deal was championed at the time as a sustainable source of funds for transportation improvements, which for years have been reliant on voter-approved bonds.

Maine has separate general fund and highway fund budgets, with the Appropriations Committee overseeing the former and the Transportation Committee overseeing the latter. Another introduced amendment on April 6th would make the highway budget subject to the approval of the legislature's Appropriations Committee, making it compete with other state initiatives for money.

Sustained transportation funding is vital to Maine’s roadway systems, and our state cannot afford to fall further behind. In the ASCE Report Card for Maine’s Infrastructure, roads received a grade of "D", and we have more than 300 structurally deficient bridges. This plan would also threaten much needed state matching funds for multimodal, resilient infrastructure, public transit, resilience, and clean energy projects.

Please send a message to your state legislators asking them to oppose the  budget amendment and support sustained funding for our state’s transportation systems.
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