Question 5 provides $15.5m to Maine Community College System
AUGUSTA – Last night Maine voters approved referendum Question 5, a $15.5 million bond sponsored by Senator Emily Cain of Orono, in a 66-34 percent vote. The bond will fund upgrades of labs and classrooms at the seven Maine community colleges, allowing the colleges to enroll an additional 2,400 students.
“This is fantastic news for Maine students and our community colleges,” said Senator Cain. “Investing in higher education will strengthen our state, our economy, and our workforce. I am thrilled the people of Maine agreed.”
Research suggests that in the next decade, nearly 60 percent of Maine jobs will require post-secondary education. According to the Maine Economic Growth Council, fewer than 40 percent of Mainers have post-secondary degrees.
Voters also approved Question 2, a $15.5 million bond for the University of Maine System to upgrade Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) facilities in a 61-39 percent vote, and Question 4, a $4.5 million bond for Maine Maritime Academy to build a new science facility through a public-private partnership, in a 53-47 percent vote.
“Approving these bonds will increase capacity in various programs, provide a better opportunity for our students, and invest in the education of our friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues to keep driving Maine’s economy forward,” added Senator Cain.
In sum, the three bonds will provide nearly $35 million for higher education in Maine.