Debt Limit Trigger Aimed At Consumer Utility Meets Threshold

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A proposal aimed at restricting long-term debt necessary to create a consumer-owned electric utility has enough signatures to appear on the November ballot in Maine.

The secretary of state confirmed Thursday that the threshold was met for the Central Maine Power-backed proposal to appear on the ballot.

The No Blank Checks initiative would require voter approval before the state takes on debts exceeding $1 billion, potentially setting up a roadblock for a separate referendum proposal to buy out Central Maine Power and Versant Power and create a consumer-owned utility, Pine Tree Power.

Both proposals would have to first be considered by state lawmakers. They would go to voters if lawmakers decline to adopt the proposal.