January 26, 2023

Citizen Initiative Regarding Voter Approval for Certain Public Borrowing Found Valid with 68,807 Signatures

AUGUSTA — The citizen initiative petition regarding voter approval for certain public borrowing has been found valid, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows confirmed today.

The petitions for “An Act To Require Voter Approval of Certain Borrowing by Government-controlled Entities and Utilities and To Provide Voters More Information Regarding that Borrowing” had been in circulation since December 7, 2021. On December 27, 2022 the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions received 28,238 petition forms with 93,837 signatures of voters who support the initiative.

Staff members at the Bureau completed the process of certifying all the petitions and found 68,807 valid signatures, while 25,030 were not valid. A minimum of 67,682 signatures from registered Maine voters was required for citizen initiatives submitted following the 2022 gubernatorial election (not less than 10% of the total votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial election), thus the petition has been deemed valid by Secretary Bellows. The text of the decision is attached.

The initiative will now go to the Legislature for consideration, per the provisions of the Maine Constitution. The Legislature can choose to enact the bill as written or to send it forward to a statewide vote in November 2023.