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This is Governor John Baldacci.

This past week has been a tough one with two announcements of plant closures in our State.

Wednesday, it was RR Donnelly in Wells announcing they plan to stop operations in June, putting 370 people out of work.

Then, a day later, the Domtar mill in Baileyville, Washington County, announced it would idle its pulp facility in May for an indefinite period of time, affecting an additional 300 workers.

I have been in close contact with officials in both communities, the legislative delegation and also with labor union representatives. We are going to help to mitigate the impact in working with those communities, and the workers and their families.

These announcements are indicative of the times we are living in right now. The global economy is severely struggling. People and businesses are having a hard time making ends meet.

But now, more than ever, it is important to invest in our people, invest in our businesses, in our infrastructure and our State, so that they have the latest technology, they’re energy efficient, and be able to compete successfully in a very competitive global environment.

President Obama started the ball rolling with the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

And while the Recovery Act is substantial, we must do more on the local level as well.

So this past week I released the details of a three-year, $306 million dollar investment strategy.

The bonds outlined in the State’s investment strategy will make critical investments in energy independence, highways and bridges, passenger and freight rail, higher education, innovation and the environment.

In addition, Maine’s $306 million dollar investment will attract matching funds, putting more than $600 million dollars into the total economy.

The investment package includes:

$127.8 million dollars for transportation projects;

$52 million dollars for energy efficiency upgrades and building improvements at our State’s universities, community colleges and at the Maine Maritime Academy;

$15.5 million dollars for energy conservation and the development of offshore wind power in cooperation with the University of Maine research;

$67.5 million dollars for competitive research and development grants in the energy and renewable energy field, and economic development and redevelopment of Brunswick Naval Air Station.

And investing over $43 million dollars in the Land for Maine’s Future program, working water fronts, clean water and environmental protection efforts.

Our economy depends on investing in our people, and giving them the tools to be successful.

The plan I’m proposing does that. And it does it in an affordable way.

When we invest in our highways and bridges, we do more than improve our transportation network. We put people to work.

Seventy-five million dollars in the package for roads and bridges in the first year is going to be matched by $90 million dollars in federal funding. This bond will create nearly 4,500 jobs over three years.

And when we invest in safe, clean drinking water and improving the water systems, we protect the public health and safety, but we also do a lot more by putting people to work.

The $19 and a half million dollars I was proposing to invest in protecting Maine’s water supply will attract $47 million dollars in matching funds. And that alone will create nearly 1,800 jobs.

When we invest in energy independence and reduce our demand for foreign oil, we put our people to work.

The plan will help our universities and community colleges get the resources to modernize those buildings, making them more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

And once the work is done, they’ll use less energy, and be able to direct more resources to our students in the classroom, away from costly fuel.

We’ll follow the same model for State buildings. I am proposing that we invest $8 million dollars to improve the energy efficiency of the East Campus of the State Government in Augusta and convert it from oil to alternative energy sources like natural gas.

Not only will that investment reduce the amount of oil consumed by the State by more than 400,000 gallons annually, it will also have the potential to expand the availability of natural gas in the Augusta area, giving homes and businesses an alternative to heating oil.

And while we invest directly in innovative technologies, the money will help our best and brightest turn their good ideas into industry and help drive our economy in the future.

When we invest in the development of technology we are going to need to take full advantage of the tremendous wind resources sitting off Maine’s cost.

My proposal establishes the Maine Marine Wind Energy Fund, dedicates $7.5 million dollars for the research and development and product innovation associated with developing ocean wind demonstration sites in Maine.

I have spoken to Democratic and Republican leaders in the Legislature, and I am confidant that there will be bipartisan support for a bond package that can be enacted quickly.

And they will be necessary so that we can put hard working people in our State back to work.

While I know that there is going to be competing interests as this package as it is being debated, I believe that Maine has already shown its political leaders can put aside those partisan differences and work together to put the best interest of our people first.

Thank you for listening and have a great weekend.

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