Rhode Island Capital Bonds for Higher Education Question, Question 2 (2010)
According to the text of the measure, from the Rhode Island Legislature, the measure was proposed to allow the state to issue general obligation bonds for the construction of a new chemistry building at the University of Rhode Island. The bonds for that project would not be able to exceed $61 million. Other bonds, totaling $17 million, would be for the renovation and addition to the Art Center at Rhode Island College.
- See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Official election results of the measure follow:
|Question 2 (Higher Education Bonds)|
Results via Rhode Island State Board of Elections.
Text of measure
The ballot title of the measure read:
|Bond issues on the ballot in 2010|
Approval of this question will allow the State of Rhode Island to issue general obligation bonds, refunding bonds, and temporary notes in an amount not to exceed sixty-one million dollars ($61,000,000) for the construction of a new chemistry building at the University of Rhode Island, and seventeen million dollars ($17,000,000) for the renovation and construction of an addition to the Art Center at Rhode Island College.
The summary of the measure read as follows:
Approval of this question will allow the State of Rhode Island to issue general obligation bonds, refunding bonds, and temporary notes in an amount not to exceed sixty one million dollars ($61,000,000) for the construction of a new chemistry building at the University of Rhode Island, and seventeen million dollars ($17,000,000) for the renovation and construction of an addition to the Art Center at Rhode Island College.
- The main campaign for the measure was Essential 2 Rhode Island-Yes on 2. According to the campaign's website, "Voting YES on Question 2 will approve $61 million for the construction of a new chemistry building at the University of Rhode Island and $17 million for the renovation and construction of an addition to the Art Center at Rhode Island College. Over a five-year period, the URI and RIC projects are expected to create over 1,200 jobs in the construction trades, engineering, management, teaching, and research fields."
- The American Association of University Professors - University of Rhode Island Chapter, Laborers International Union Of North America – Rhode Island Local 1033, and the Rhode Island AFL-CIO all endorsed the campaign for the measure.
- James Salmo, the executive director of the RIC Foundation, stated about the campaign for the measure, "The Rhode Island College Foundation and the Rhode Island College Alumni Association both strive to advance the best interests of Rhode Island College. Both of these organizations see the renovated art center as one of the most important projects which could have a significant impact on the college. Providing funding to educate the voting public is a worthwhile use of their resources. Since the "Yes on 2" campaign cannot use public funds, the foundation and alumni association quickly stepped forward to provide funding."
- There was no known opposing campaign against the measure.
Reports, analysis and studies
The Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council released questions on October 13, 2010 for voters to consider before making their decision on how to vote on the three bond issues on the November 2, 2010 ballot. RIPEC, according to reports, was a business-backed group that monitors finances in the state. The group did not take positions on ballot issues, but did present the following questions, reports said:
- Which projects will result in investments that will strengthen the state’s economy and help grow and retain jobs?
- Do some of the proposed projects represent higher priorities than others given finite resources?
- Do the benefits outweigh the costs of the projects when interest costs are taken into account?
- What impact will new capital projects have on the cost of operating state government?
- The Providence Journal urged a 'yes' vote on the measure, stating, "Higher education is essential for Rhode Island’s future prosperity, and it has been unfunded for years. Out of enlightened self-interest, the voters would do well to back Question 2."
- The South County Independent recommended a 'yes' vote on the measure, stating, "...the three-year project is expected to create or save 950 jobs, from architectural and engineering positions to construction work. In 1934, voters were in much more economic trouble than we are today, with a higher percentage of unemployment and mill workers in violent confrontations with the National Guard. But they had the foresight to invest in their state college, and that confidence built Green Hall, Quinn Hall and Roosevelt Hall, named after the then-first lady. Today it is hard to imagine the campus without these stately buildings."
- Rhode Island Legislature, "Relating to capital development program" (dead link)
- Rhode Island Secretary of State, "Sample Ballot," accessed September 24, 2010
- Essential 2 Rhode Island, "Official Site," accessed October 6, 2010
- The Anchor, "RIC and URI stress importance of ballot referendum on campus improvements," October 19, 2010
- The Providence Journal, "RIPEC’s questions focus on 3 bond issues totaling $177.4 million," October 14, 2010
- Providence Journal, "Editorial: Yes on Question 2," October 16, 2010
- The South County Independent, "Approve ballot Question 2," October 16, 2010 (dead link)
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