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Good morning.

In less than a month, Maine voters will go to the polls. The decisions voters make will have a lasting effect on Maine’s children and our state’s economic future.

It’s not enough for us to sit by and wish for a stronger economy. We have to pursue it aggressively.

There are three questions on the ballot that ask voters to approve new investments in job creation and business innovation, in higher education and protecting our environment.

We must make investments today if we want to be successful in a global, information-based economy.

I know that Mainers have what it takes to be successful. When I travel around the state, I am constantly impressed with the quality of our people, their work ethic and productivity, and their ideas.

Our people can compete – and win – around the world. They just need a level playing field and an opportunity.

That’s what Questions 2, 3 and 4 on this November’s ballot will do. They will help create the level playing field on which our people can work and win.

Question 2 will invest $55 million to support private-sector job creation and business innovations. If we want to have high-paying jobs with good benefits, then we have to invest in R&D that will lead to new industry, new technologies and the advances that go with them.

Question 2 gives us an opportunity to put resources to work strengthening Maine’s economy. It will give Maine the spark that it needs.

Just as important as creating new jobs, we have to provide our children and grand children with a quality education.

There was a time in Maine when a young person could get a good job without having a college degree. Those days are largely gone.

Today with the information-based, technology-based economy, it depends on a highly trained, educated workforce.

A college degree is no longer optional, and we have to make sure that every person in the state has the opportunity to receive a quality education.

I was at a car dealer the other day and they were telling me the importance of people having the ability with technology with today’s computer involvement with our automobiles. It’s unbelievable the technical expertise that today’s auto mechanics need to have - and it happens in all of the industries – in order to be successful.

There is no better predictor of economic success than education. People with more education have better jobs and earn more money.

Question 3 on the ballot will invest $43 million in higher education in our University, Community College and Maine Maritime Academy.

Our goal when we created the community college system was to make college accessible and affordable, opening the doors wider than they have ever been opened before for all Maine people.

We’ve succeeded beyond expectations. Enrollment at Maine’s community colleges is exploding. Now that success demands that we provide our schools with the support they need to serve our students.

The University of Maine offers students great academic programs at great values, and its professors and students partner with Maine industries and they’re leading the way in our efforts to innovate.

The work that’s being done at the system’s seven campuses is amazing. In Orono, they’ve developed ballistic plates out of cutting edge composite materials that are already at work protecting U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Engineers are working on new technology that holds incredible promise for Maine’s paper industry, Maine’s energy industry. A new process is being developed that will allow mills to make biofuels as part of pulp-making processes.

And Maine Maritime Academy offering a unique educational experience continues Maine’s connection to its ocean-based economy.

We must support our institutions of higher learning. They equip our students with the skills they need for a brighter future. They need our tools to do the right job.

So I’m asking for a yes vote on Question 3.

The world today is smaller than ever before. Technology, the Internet and wireless communications connect us to the world in ways we could never have imagined just a few years ago.

Those advances have given us great freedom. Industry leaders chose Maine because of the special qualities we have to offer.

Our state is rich in natural resources. Maine is beautiful and clean. We protect our environment, we invest in land conservation and we’re good stewards of the things that make us special.

Question 4 will invest $35 and a half million to support those efforts. We’ll be able to protect our working water fronts and farm lands, and safeguard Maine’s tradition of access for outdoor recreation.

Maine has a world-renowned brand name. We stand out for the quality of the products we produce and the quality of our way of life.

Question 4 helps us to protect those assets, including clean air and water, our state parks, historic sites, and our great outdoor traditions.

Maine can’t afford not to make these investments. But I need your help. I need your support and your vote on November 6 so that Maine’s economic vitality is secured for our future generations. It’s important for all of us.

Thank you and have a great weekend.

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