The $50 million bond to support research, development, and commercialization efforts by Maine businesses has officially passed and been signed by the governor, the Secretary of State’s office announced Wednesday.
Maine voters considered the bond issue at a special referendum election on June 13. There was a total of 104,213 ballots, with 63,468 in favor and 39,549 against, according to the office. Voters left 1,196 blank.
Gov. Paul LePage signed the official vote proclamation Wednesday morning. The bond will be officially authorized 30 days after receiving his signature, or July 21.
Of the $50 million, $45 million will go to the Maine Technology Institute, which supports businesses in targeted technology sectors in the form of grants and low-interest loans. The other $5 million will go to the Maine Venture Fund, the state’s quasi-public venture capital fund that invests in early-stage companies with massive growth potential. Maine Venture Fund recently received a return of $3 million on a $500,000 investment it made in Portland-based Certify, which developed cloud-based expense tracking software for business clients, when the latter was acquired for roughly $100 million.
The total estimated lifetime cost of the bond is estimated to be $63.75 million, assuming interest of 5% over 10 years, according to the Secretary of State’s office.