I urge everyone to get out on Nov. 8 and vote. In particular, I urge people to vote yes for Question 4, the Economic Development Bond. This bond will provide $20 million for economic development, which is so sorely needed in this state. Of the $20 million, $8 million will be designated for the Maine Biomedical Research Fund. Biomedical research in Maine offers an immensely important source of current and future economic activity.
One of the leading biomedical research facilities in Maine is The Jackson Laboratory. About 90 percent of the lab’s annual revenues come from outside Maine, yet about 83 percent of its outlays are spent inside the state. The lab is the largest employer in Hancock County with nearly 1,300 employees. These employees reside all over Hancock and Penobscot counties. The lab is currently undergoing an expansion program that will bring even more good-paying jobs to the Maine economy. Jobs at the lab have an average annual salary of $45,000.
The Jackson Lab draws members of the international scientific community to Maine on a regular basis for collaborative research and educational programs. The lab works alongside other Maine institutions to promote scientific discovery, advance scientific education and research chronic diseases.
A vote yes on Question 4 will enable the lab and other biomedical research facilities to advance their missions and maintain their roles as an economic engine for Maine.