Economic and Education Ballot Measures Get Mixed Results

November 10, 2016

Bond issues supporting higher education goals got mixed results in Tuesday’s election. A bond issue in Rhode Island to be used for the renovation and construction of the University of Rhode Island’s College of Engineering buildings was a winner in this year’s election, receiving 59.3 percent approval. The bond issue that would have created the Montana Biomedical Research Authority was not as lucky, with 56.9 percent of voters there rejecting the measure. Two other economic development measures fared well with Arkansas voters approving (65.22 percent) a referendum removing caps on state-issued bonds to help finance economic development projects and services. Alabama voters also approved (59.22 percent) an amendment giving communities the power to create zones to attract industry to the state.

Other education funding initiatives had limited success. Proposition 51 in California authorizing $9 billion in general obligation bonds to fund improvement and construction of school facilities for K-12 schools and community colleges passed (59.41 percent). New Mexico voters approved authorizing $142.356 million in bond issuance for certain higher educational, tribal, and special schools capital improvements and acquisitions. And Maine voters narrowly approved (50.47 percent) a three percent tax on income in excess of $200,000 to help fund public education.

However, a sales tax increase to support education funding failed in Oklahoma; and Oregon’s proposed hike on corporations, some of which could have gone to public schools, also failed. A hotly contested constitutional amendment on the ballot in Georgia that would have allowed the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools was voted down by 60.18 percent of the voters.

More information regarding these issues was featured in earlier Digest, and can be found here.

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Montana, New Mexico, Rhode Islandstate tbed