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Good morning. This is Governor John Baldacci.

We all have some important work to do on Tuesday, June 8th.

For this Election Day, candidates running for the Democratic and Republican nominations for governor have received the most attention.

There are four Democrats and seven Republicans all vying for the opportunity to run this fall in the General Election.

In addition, there are competitive primaries in some Legislative districts.

But this election isn’t just for the political parties.

There are other important questions on the ballot, and I’d encourage everyone – Democrat, Republican, Green or unenrolled to turnout on Tuesday.

There are five statewide questions and a number of local ones that deserve voter attention.

From school budgets to city councils to tax reform and bonds, on Tuesday we have an opportunity to make our voices heard.

Maine has a history of strong voter participation, but June elections usually don’t draw the same crowds that we see in November.

But the issues are just as important.

In addition to choosing candidates, voters will decide on an important tax question and on four critical bond questions.

The outcome will have a lasting impact on Maine’s economy.

Question 1 asks voters to repeal changes made to the tax code.

Last year, we lowered the Maine income tax rate.

For most people, the rate goes from 8.5 percent to 6.5 percent.

A big drop. More money staying in your pocket.

It also makes the tax code more progressive, meaning working-class families can expect a bigger refund.

The tax reform plan will lower the overall tax burden for nine out of 10 Maine families.

And for families making less than $30,000 dollars a year, 97 percent will pay less in taxes.

The change was so impressive that the conservative Wall Street Journal called it the “Maine Miracle.”

Overall, Maine taxpayers will pay about $50 million dollars less in State taxes.

To pay for the lower income tax rate, the law applies the sales tax to some things that were tax-exempt.

And it increases the amount paid by tourists who eat in restaurants or stay overnight in hotels.

The reform has the support of the business community and chambers of commerce and a broad coalition that includes the AARP.

The law rewards work, and Maine families get to keep more of their own money.

It will attract new businesses to Maine and help to make our State more competitive.

The law is good working families, the elderly and businesses.

Now, the other four statewide questions are about bonds.

The bonds faced rigorous scrutiny in the Legislature and the proposals being sent to voters have earned strong bipartisan support.

The bonds are targeted and focused and, if approved, will begin creating jobs this year.

Maine’s economy is showing signs of improvement.

But the recovery is not certain.

These bonds will make important investments now that will put people to work and help businesses to grow.

Unemployment remains too high.

And Maine voters can do something about it.

Question 2 on the ballot asks voters to approve $26 million dollars to invest in developing offshore wind technology in our State.

The investment will help to leverage almost $25 million dollars.

This combined investment will help to build a new industry in Maine, creating jobs and helping to secure not only our energy future but also helping our country.

Question 3 is about jobs.

It asks voters to approve almost $48 million dollars for highway, railway and port improvements.

The question includes funding for a new deep-water port in Portland and to save rail service in Aroostook County.

The railroad that connects Aroostook County to the rest of the State is about to be lost.

It’s a critical link to Maine’s manufacturing industries.

Our entire State will suffer if the railroad is allowed to disappear.

The investment would also expand rail service in Lewiston and Auburn and to Western Maine.

And it will make significant investments in roads around our State.

Good roads help our economy and businesses. We need to make them better and safer.

Question 4 asks voters to invest almost $24 million dollars in economic development.

It will support small businesses, farmers, fishermen and loggers.

It will save historic properties.

It will also help us redevelop the Brunswick Naval Air Station.

Question 5 will invest about $10 million dollars to make our drinking water cleaner and safer.

It will immediately create jobs and be matched by more than $33 million dollars.

Projects funded by this question not only protect our drinking water, but they put people to work almost immediately.

Maine is conservative with bonding. We pay our debts back in less than half of the time of most states – 10 years instead of the traditional 20 years.

And we have been rewarded with low interest rates and strong support from the financial markets.

And we have an opportunity to put people back to work.

So these bonds are responsible and will create jobs.

Come June 8th Maine voters get to decide what happens next.

And as Adlai Stevenson said: “As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.”

I trust Maine voters to make the right decisions, and I encourage everyone to participate in Tuesday’s election.

Thank you and have a great weekend.

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