AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine House of Representatives has approved a measure reauthorizing $6.5 million in voter-approved conservation bonds that had become politicized under Gov. Paul LePage.
The House of Representatives unanimously approved the revival of the bonds on Tuesday. Democrats and Republicans previously agreed to recall expired Land For Maine's Future bonds designed to pay for open-space preservation. LePage previously withheld the bonds and criticized the conservation program.
LePage released $5 million in bonds, but the expired bonds that voters approved in 2010 amount to another $6.5 million. LePage had said he would issue the $6.5 million if legislators renewed them.
The lawmakers renewed the bonds for five years while LePage preferred a six-month window. LePage's representatives did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Tuesday.