Article IV, Part Third, Section 14 of the maine State Constitution

Article IV, Part Third, Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution says:

Corporations shall be formed under general laws, and shall not be created by special Acts of the Legislature, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where the objects of the corporation cannot otherwise be attained, and, however formed , they shall forever be subject of the general laws of the state ( emphasis mine)

Quote from the legislative Charter for Brunswick Landing Maine's Center for Innovation : The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority is established as a body corporate and politic and a public instrumentality of the State to carry out the purposes of this article. The authority is entrusted with acquiring and managing the properties within the geographic boundaries of Brunswick Naval Air Station. [2009, c. 641,
§1 (AMD).]
1. Powers. The authority is a public municipal corporation and may:D. Exercise the power of eminent domain; [2005, c. 599, §1 (NEW).]


Monday, November 23, 2009

Following the Money

I have been following links found at The Department of Innovation and compiling them in one document for the purpose of understanding what is actually going on with our tax dollars. Without further comment I am posting them here.

The Office of Innovation was established in 2004 by the Maine Legislature (5MRSA §13105) to "encourage and coordinate the State's research and development activities to foster collaboration among the State's higher education and nonprofit research institutes and the business community."

What is EPSCoR? Since its origin in 1978 the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) has grown and evolved to the point where it is a highly regarded, government-wide research and development effort.

Established by the National Science Foundation (NSF), EPSCoR identifies, develops, and utilizes a state's academic science and technology resources in a way that supports wealth creation and a more productive and fulfilling way of life for its citizens. EPSCoR benefits states like Maine that have traditionally received small amounts of Federal R&D funding

· DOE's Office of Science is part of the bipartisan competitiveness/innovation initiative and its funding is expected to double over the next few years. The National Academies' study, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm", was highly supportive of this increase in DOE Office of Science funding.

· DOE provides more than 40% of all federal funding for the physical sciences. It also makes substantial contributions to research in computer science, biological and environmental science and energy areas, including biofuels, magnetic fusion, hydrogen fuel cells and clean coal technologies.

DOD research accounts for more than one-third of all funding for engineering research and provides 70% of all federal funding for mechanical engineering, 60% for electrical engineering, 42% for materials engineering, 29% for computer sciences and 28 percent for oceans sciences. It also provides funding for research on infectious diseases and injuries associated with battlefield conditions.

DEPSCoR supports research in areas identified by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Army Research Office (ARO) and Office of Naval Research (ONR).

National Institute of Health's Institutional Development Award: NIH IDeA

· This important program increases our nation's biomedical research capability by improving research in states that have historically been less successful in obtaining biomedical research funds. IDeA funds only merit-based, peer-reviewed research that meets NIH research objectives in the 24 IDeA states.

· NIH IDeA is comprised of two initiatives: Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) and IDEA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). COBRE and INBRE programs are flagship examples of successful programs supported by IDeA.

· The COBRE program is designed to increase the pool of well-trained investigators in the IDeA states by expanding research facilities, equipping laboratories with the latest research equipment, providing mentoring for promising candidates, and developing research faculty through support of a multi-disciplinary center, led by an established, senior investigator with expertise in the research focus area of the center.

· INBRE increases the pipeline of outstanding students and enhances the quality of science faculty in the IDeA states by networking research intensive and undergraduate institutions. The INBRE program prepares students for graduate and professional schools as well as careers in the biomedical sciences, supports research and mentoring of young investigators, and enhances research infrastructure at participating institutions.

National Science Foundation: NSF EPSCoR

The NSC EPSCoR goals are: a) to provide strategic programs and opportunities for EPSCoR participants that stimulate sustainable improvements in their R&D capacity and competitiveness; and b) to advance science and engineering capabilities in EPSCoR jurisdictions for discovery, innovation and overall knowledge-based prosperity.


To catalyze key research themes and related activities within and among EPSCoR jurisdictions that empower knowledge generation, dissemination and application;

to activate effective jurisdictional and regional collaborations among academic, government and private sector stakeholders that advance scientific research, promote innovation and provide multiple societal benefits;

to broaden participation in science and engineering by institutions, organizations and people within and among EPSCoR jurisdictions;

to use EPSCoR for development, implementation and evaluation of future programmatic experiments that motivate positive change and progression.

What does EPSCoR mean for Maine? EPSCoR funds are used to establish partnerships with leaders of state government, higher education and industry to effect lasting improvements in a state's research infrastructure and its national R&D competitiveness. In addition to research competitiveness, the EPSCoR programs stimulate human resources, technology transfer and economic development. By enhancing science and engineering research, education and technology capabilities, this Federal-State partnership is balancing the distribution of valuable Federal research dollars. These partnerships are designed to stimulate local action that will result in lasting improvements to the state's academic research infrastructure and increased national R&D competitiveness.

Maine has been awarded more than $59,000,000 from EPSCoR funds since FY2000:

The Department of Defense (DoD) SBIR and STTR programs fund a billion dollars each year in early-stage R&D projects at small technology companies -- projects that serve a DoD need and have commercial applications.

· The SBIR Program provides up to $850,000 in early-stage R&D funding directly to small technology companies (or individual entrepreneurs who form a company).

· The STTR Program provides up to $850,000 in early-stage R&D funding directly to small companies working cooperatively with researchers at universities and other research institutions.

· Small companies retain the intellectual property rights to technologies they develop under these programs.

· Funding is awarded competitively, but the process is streamlined and user-friendly.

· Learn more by going to Overview and other sections. Also visit our Resource Center at

DoD's SBIR and STTR Programs

The purpose of DoD's SBIR and STTR programs is to harness the innovative talents of our nation's small technology companies for U.S. military and economic strength.

The Small Business Innovation Research program funds early-stage R&D at small technology companies and is designed to:

· stimulate technological innovation

· increase private sector commercialization of federal R&D

· increase small business participation in federally funded R&D

· foster participation by minority and disadvantaged firms in technological innovation

About EPSCoR

to activate effective jurisdictional and regional collaborations among academic, government and private sector stakeholders that advance scientific research, promote innovation and provide multiple societal benefits;

· Co-Funding of Disciplinary and Multidisciplinary Research:

EPSCoR co-invests with NSF Directorates and Offices in the support of meritorious proposals from individual investigators, groups, and centers in EPSCoR jurisdictions that are submitted to the Foundation’s research and education programs, and crosscutting initiatives. These proposals have been merit reviewed and recommended for award, but could not be funded without the combined, leveraged support of EPSCoR and the Research and Education Directorates. Co-funding leverages EPSCoR investment and facilitates participation of EPSCoR scientists and engineers in Foundation-wide programs and initiatives

Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §13105, sub-§2, C, as amended by PL 2005, c. 19, §2, is further amended to read:

C. The development of new commercial products and the fabrication of such products in the State through the Maine Technology Institute under section 15302 and the technology centers under section 15321; and

Sec. 4. Transfer of duties. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection and the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall coordinate to ensure that the duties, functions and responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Innovation and Assistance are transferred in a timely manner to the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of Innovation. The Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of Innovation shall assume the duties, functions and responsibilities transferred to it in this Act within existing budgeted resources.

He said at you can't socialize the risk and privatize the gain. This rings a chord with what I suspect is the case with the taxpayer's role in The Small Business Growth Fund - which is a high growth capitalistic investment group created by the Maine State Legislature in 1995 "for public good" (like the non-profits). From what I am reading in the legislation, there seems to be a lot of merging with commercial interests and "the public good' which would set the legal parameters for taking tax payer money and investing it in a private investing firm.

I heard about SBGF at the Juice conference where we were told that the government puts in one dollar to every nine dollars of private investment money.

I immediately wanted to know what the taxpayer got out of it but this was not said. At first I assumed that the taxpayer would be a 10% investor but I have yet to find that stated anywhere. If the taxpayer is not a stockholder, then our state government gave this group of private investors in "high growth businesses” a grant and that would make it exactly what Eliot Spitzer articulated- socializing the risk and privatizing the gain- as we know that the private investors expect to see a profit from the money they put in- where as if the government gave this firm a grant, then the tax payers do not get a share of the investment - only a share of the risk.

I am researching information found at the Department of Innovation and will post it on The Main Street Economy. I generally do not have anyone reading my blogs, but this seems so important and I hope that some others will pay attention.

I am clicking on the links to the legislation, which of course says that if you want it interpreted, get a lawyer-, which I am not- But I do know the English language and so I'll go with that.

Be interesting to get other's input on the meaning of the legislation, some of which was only passed this year.

1 comment:

  1. I saw Eliot Spitzer on Cspan last night -talking about the governance of corporations. He said that the ration between what a CEO makes and what an ordinary worker makes was 40-1 in the 1980's and 550-1 today.

    In relation to the above he said, "You cannot socialize the risk and privatize the gain". If Federal grant money is being channeled to private investors, as appears to be the case with The Small Business Growth Fund, whichis 10% funded by the government, and if these funds are not structured such that the taxpayer is also an investor, then The SBGF socializes the risk and privatizes the gain.