Voters on Nov. 7 approved 14 of 15 statewide bond issues,totaling about $43.3 billion, most of it for infrastructure. Leading the packis California, where measures providing $37 billion for transportation, levees,schools and other public works won by wide margins. Many local issuesauthorizing billions of addition-al dollars, much of it for schools, also passed.
Bond issues generally do well at the polls, says JennieBowser, National Conference of State Legislatures policy analyst. “The dollaramount this year, though, is pretty astronomical,” she says. “That’s dueentirely to California.”
Among non-bond measures, the American Road &Transportation Builders Association reports that 22 of 27 proposals to hiketransportation funding passed, including a Minnesota plan to allot all car andtruck sales tax revenue to highways and transit and a New Jersey measure toboost the share of gas-tax revenue for transportation.
Eight states restricted locali-ties’ eminent-domain use.Regulatory “takings” measures passed in Arizona but lost in three states.
Big items in California’s bond package include $19.9-billionover 10 years for transportation; $10.4 billion for elementary and secondaryschool and college facilities; and $4.1 billion to repair levees and flood controlstructures.
In Texas, voters approved nine local school bond issues totaling more than $2billion for projects in three Houston-area districts, four around Dallas-FortWorth, and one each in San Antonio and Round Rock. Dallas also passed 12 bondmeasures, providing a record $1.35 billion for streets, parks, flood controland Cotton Bowl and zoo renovations. Voters rejected a $250-million proposalfor Houston’s North Harris Montgomery Community College District. Aus-tinvoters cleared $567 million for streets, water-quality work and a new library.
Mesa, Ariz., voters approved $260 million for water,wastewater, gas and electrical infrastructure. In New Mexico, a $118-millionproposal was approved for college and university facilities around the state.
Approved State Bond Measures Include:
|STATE||CATEGORY||FUNDING ($ MIL.)|
|Levees, flood control||4,090|
|New Mexico||Higher-education capital programs||118|
|University, college buildings||73|
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, ENR