Senate Republican Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUSTA – Upon learning of the $66.7 million available funds in the latest revenue forecast, Senate Republicans call on Governor Mills to adequately fund MaineDOT to avoid the impending road crisis.
“Just yesterday, MaineDOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note briefed the Legislature’s Transportation Committee on a road crisis underway in Maine this year due to a substantial increase in bid prices,” said Senate Republican Leader Dana Dow (R-Lincoln). “These increases, largely due to recent minimum wage increases and labor shortages, have resulted in bids coming in far above estimated costs. According to the commissioner, “The extent of the cuts from the 2019 CAP is still being finalized, but it will be substantial.” Governor Mills has a unique opportunity to end this road crisis with existing funds.
“The $8 billion budget still needs to be reduced. It relies on one-time funds to balance, which is sure to cause budget shortfalls and tax increases down the road.”
“We can’t sit back and allow our roads and bridges to crumble when we have the funds to repair them,” said Assistant Senate Republican Leader Jeff Timberlake (R-Androscoggin). “Governor Mills’ proposed budget, while funding $800 million in new spending, fails to put a dime towards road improvements. It instead relies on borrowed money that won’t come close to covering the cost of this road crisis. With this revenue forecast in hand, she now has the opportunity to prioritize infrastructure and keep all 2019 MaineDOT projects on track.
“We are still left with an unreasonable budget that needs to be reduced, and the budget stabilization fund should be replenished.”