Bill seeks public vote on borrowing $50 million to address sea level change in Maine

The Maine Legislature is back to work and already has 25 bills moving through the process, including one that would ask voters to support a $50 million bonding package meant to help coastal cities and towns prepare for rising sea levels.

The bonding bill is the first in 2019 to address climate change, an issue that Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has said would be a priority for her administration. Mills made a rousing call to action on climate change during her inaugural speech Wednesday night.

The bill would require two-thirds support in each legislative body, meaning minority Republicans would have to join majority Democrats to send the measure to voters.

A federal report released in November suggested Maine and the rest of New England will be seriously affected by ongoing climate change, rising sea levels and warming ocean temperatures. Nationally, the report suggested climate change will cost the U.S. more than $500 billion a year by the end of the century.

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