Voter frustration with the economy was evident on Nov. 2 in statehouse and congressional changes, but it also played out in how ballot funding and other initiatives fared. Some big-ticket state and local finance measures were rejected by voters, while others passed less enthusiastically than in better times. Also enacted were new restrictions that could complicate public-works procurement.
Alabama voters turned down a proposed constitutional amendment to earmark $1 billion over a decade for road construction projects, but Rhode Island, Fairfax County, Va., and Austin, Texas, each approved close to $100-million-a-year transportation funding measures, says the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. ARTBA says that, of 13 measures tracked that would hike spending through bonding, transfers or new tax revenue, voters OK’d eight—a 61% approval rate. In the last three elections, measures passed with 77% approval, on average, the group says. The 2010 measures will generate more than $376 million in new transportation infrastructure investment, ARTBA says.