Treasurer caves to governor to keep road projects on track

State Treasurer Terry Hayes said on Wednesday she had reached an agreement with Gov. Paul LePage to avoid delaying road construction projects and imperiling thousands of jobs.

Hayes said she is giving in to LePage's demand to reissue a request for a company to serve as the state bonding agent but only after construction bonds are issued in June. But she said she's not happy about the "unnecessary cost and expensive" do-over.

"I'm going to redo it even though it's unnecessary because that's what's necessary to get the construction season back on track," she said.

The Republican governor said the original process that led to a Texas law firm becoming the state's bonding agent was "underhanded." Hayes, an independent, denied the accusation.

LePage said he appreciates the treasurer's cooperation. He called it a procedural disagreement, not a political one, with Hayes, who announced last month she plans to run for governor.

"Most importantly, Mainers can now get to work on improving our roads, bridges and other infrastructure that is so vital to our economy," LePage said.

All told, $600 million worth of projects supporting 4,000 jobs were at stake, said Matt Marks, CEO of Associated General Contractors of Maine.