Maine state 2017 election
By Jacob Beaulieu
Edited by Luc Beaulieu
People nervously stand in line in a large gymnasium full of desks, each with a large booth on top and a curtain. People vanish behind the curtains to alter the path that our state, and maybe even our country, is traveling on.Then, they step out of the curtain, and walk over to a desk full of smiling volunteers who give them a sticker that reads I voted.
The Maine state 2017 election was made up of 4 questions with some exceptions (like if you live in Lewiston or auburn you would have needed to vote on whether they should merge.) These questions are pretty complicated so I am going to attempt to put them in simple and unbiased terms so you can have a better understanding of what the state of Maine recently voted on.
QUESTION 1: York County casino. “Do you want to allow a certain company to operate table games and/or slot machines in York County, subject to state and local approval, with part of the profits going to the specific programs described in the initiative?”
This question is simply about allowing a certain company to build a casino in york county with part of the profits going to certain programs. You have probably seen a lot of TV ads about this one that are either for or against it and you may have even stumbled into a heated discussion about it. This question by far is the most popular and possibly the most important.
QUESTION 2: Medicaid expansion. “Do you want Maine to expand Medicaid to provide healthcare coverage for qualified adults under age 65 with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level, which in 2017 means $16,643 for a single person and $22,412 for a family of two?” . Question 2 is about weather we want to expand the boundaries of who is able to get medicaid which is a program that provides medical insurance to low income individuals or people with disabilities.
QUESTION 3: Transportation bond. “Do you favor a $105,000,000 bond issue for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities or equipment related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds, and for the upgrade of municipal culverts at stream crossings?” Question 3 is about spending money to improve the quality of transportation in Maine. This involves paving roads, fixing bridges, making trails for bikes, and improving equipment for boats and ports.
QUESTION 4: Constitutional amendment. “Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to reduce volatility in state pension funding requirements caused by the financial markets by increasing the length of time over which experience losses are amortized from 10 years to 20 years, in line with pension industry standards?”
The final question is about retirement. If you support this amendment, then you support the time required for the state to pay off the Maine Public Employees Retirement System's and the increase of unfunded liabilities from 10 years to 20 years.
The results where no on number 1 and yes on questions 2, 3, and 4