Maine, USA, regional Obligatory referendum [LOR] - Authority and procedure for issuance of bonds

General Typology

Instrument
Obligatory referendum [LOR]
Location
Maine, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Authority and procedure for issuance of bonds
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Maine Constitution, Article IX, Section 14
[...] whenever 2/3 of both Houses shall deem it necessary, by proper enactment ratified by a majority of the electors voting thereon at a general or special election, the Legislature may authorize the issuance of bonds on behalf of the State at such times and in such amounts and for such purposes as approved by such action [...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Maine (retrieved 21 June 2017)

Subject Matter:

Contracting debts via obligatory referendum

Actors

Author:
Legislature : must first pass with a 2/3 majority in both houses
Initiator:
Law : Constitution
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Available Time:
Turnout Quorum:
Legal source does not mention turnout quorum
Approval Quorum:
Legal source does not mention approval quorum
Geographical Quorum:
Legal source does not mention geographical quorum
Excluded Issues:

A vote on contracting debts need not be put to the electorate if
- The aggregate debts of the state is less than $2,000,000
- The money is needed to "suppress insurrection, to repel invasion, or for purposes of war."
- The debt will be paid within one year with federal transportation funds (as long as it is not more than half of the federal transportation funds received by Maine in the last year)
The state may not issue bonds on money from the federal government or held in trust for any Indian tribe.

Maine Constitution, Article IX, Section 14
[...] The Legislature shall not create any debt or debts, liability or liabilities, on behalf of the State, which shall singly, or in the aggregate, with previous debts and liabilities hereafter incurred at any one time, exceed $2,000,000, except to suppress insurrection, to repel invasion, or for purposes of war, and except for temporary loans to be paid out of money raised by taxation during the fiscal year in which they are made, and except for loans to be repaid within 12 months with federal transportation funds in amounts not to exceed 50% of transportation funds appropriated by the Federal Government in the prior federal fiscal year; and excepting also that whenever 2/3 of both Houses shall deem it necessary, by proper enactment ratified by a majority of the electors voting thereon at a general or special election, the Legislature may authorize the issuance of bonds on behalf of the State at such times and in such amounts and for such purposes as approved by such action; but this shall not be construed to refer to any money that has been, or may be deposited with this State by the Government of the United States, or to any fund which the State shall hold in trust for any Indian tribe. [...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Maine (retrieved 21 June 2017)

Other Formal Requirements:

Maine Constitution, Article IX, Section 14
[...] For any bond authorization requiring ratification of the electors pursuant to this section, if any bonds have not been issued within 5 years of the date of ratification, then those bonds may not be issued after that date. Within 2 years after expiration of that 5-year period, the Legislature may extend, by a majority vote, the 5-year period for an additional 5 years or may deauthorize the bonds. [...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Maine (retrieved 21 June 2017)

Procedural Elements

Wording Of Ballot Question:

Maine Constitution, Article IX, Section 14
[...] Whenever ratification by the electors is essential to the validity of bonds to be issued on behalf of the State, the question submitted to the electors shall be accompanied by a statement setting forth the total amount of bonds of the State outstanding and unpaid, the total amount of bonds of the State authorized and unissued, and the total amount of bonds of the State contemplated to be issued if the enactment submitted to the electors be ratified. [...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Maine (retrieved 21 June 2017)

Interaction With Authorities:

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 1, Section 353
With the assistance of the Secretary of State, the Attorney General shall prepare a brief explanatory statement that must fairly describe the intent and content and what a "yes" vote favors and a "no" vote opposes for each direct initiative, bond issue, constitutional resolution or statewide referendum that may be presented to the people. The Office of Fiscal and Program Review shall prepare an estimate of the fiscal impact on state revenues, appropriations and allocations of each measure that may appear on the ballot [...]


Source: Maine Revised Statutes (retrieved 21 June 2017)

Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: