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Ohio Issue 1, Bonds for Education (1999)

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The Ohio Bonds for Education Amendment, also known as Issue 1, was on the November 2, 1999 ballot in Ohio as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.[1] This amendment authorizes the issuance of bonds and other obligations to pay cost of construction, renovation and repair of facilities for Ohio’s public schools and state-supported colleges and universities.

Election results

Ohio Issue 1 (1999)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,303,830 60.81%
No840,24039.19%

Election results via the Ohio Secretary of State.[2]

Text of measure

See also: Ohio Constitution, Article VIII, Section 2n and Section 17

The language appeared on the ballot as:[3]

PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
(Proposed by Resolution of the General Assembly of Ohio)

To Adopt Sections 2(n) and 17 of Article VIII of the Constitution of the State of Ohio

THIS PROPOSED AMENDMENT WOULD:

  1. AUTHORIZE THE STATE TO ISSUE BONDS AND OTHER OBLIGATIONS IN ORDER TO PAY COSTS OF FACILITIES FOR A SYSTEM OF COMMON SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT THE STATE AND FOR STATE-SUPPORTED AND STATE ASSISTED INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION, INCLUDING COSTS OF ACQUISITION, CONSTRUCTION, IMPROVEMENT, EXPANSION, PLANNING AND EQUIPPING FACILITIES.
  2. PROVIDE THAT THESE OBLIGATIONS WILL BE GENERAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE STATE, BACKED BY THE FULL FAITH AND CREDIT, REVENUE AND TAXING POWER OF THE STATE.
  3. PROVIDE THAT DIRECT OBLIGATIONS OF THE STATE, INCLUDING OBLIGATIONS REFERRED TO ABOVE, MAY NOT BE ISSUED IF THE AMOUNT REQUIRED FOR FUTURE FISCAL YEAR PAYMENT OF DEBT SERVICE ON STATE DIRECT OBLIGATIONS TO BE PAID FROM THE STATE GENERAL REVENUE FUND OR NET LOTTERY PROCEEDS WOULD EXCEED FIVE PER CENT OF THE TOTAL ESTIMATED REVENUES OF THE STATE FOR THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND AND FROM NET LOTTERY PROCEEDS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE PARTICULAR OBLIGATIONS ARE TO BE ISSUED. AN AFFIRMATIVE VOTE OF AT LEAST THREE-FIFTHS OF THE MEMBERS OF EACH HOUSE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MAY WAIVE THE FIVE PER CENT LIMITATION AS TO A PARTICULAR ISSUE OR AMOUNT.
  4. PROVIDE THAT NET STATE LOTTERY PROCEEDS MAY BE PLEDGED OR USED FOR PAYMENT OF DEBT SERVICE ON OBLIGATIONS ISSUED TO PAY COSTS OF FACILITIES FOR A SYSTEM OF COMMON SCHOOLS, BUT NOT ON OBLIGATIONS ISSUED TO PAY COSTS OF FACILITIES FOR HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.
  5. PROVIDE THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHALL PROVIDE BY LAW FOR COMPUTING THE AMOUNTS REQUIRED FOR PAYMENT OF DEBT SERVICE, AND MAY PROVIDE FOR ESTIMATING PAYMENTS OF DEBT SERVICE ON BONDS ANTICIPATED BY NOTES. THE CERTIFICATION OF THE GOVERNOR OR THE GOVERNOR’S REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FISCAL YEAR AMOUNTS REQUIRED TO BE APPLIED OR SET ASIDE FOR PAYMENT OF DEBT SERVICE AND RELATED OBLIGATIONS, RELEVANT TOTAL ESTIMATED REVENUES, AND OTHER FISCAL MATTERS SHALL BE CONCLUSIVE FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE VALIDITY OF ANY OBLIGATIONS ISSUED.

If adopted, this amendment shall take immediate effect.

A majority yes vote is necessary for passage.

SHALL THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT BE ADOPTED? [4]

Support

The following reasons were given in support of Issue 1 by the Committee to Prepare Argument For Issue 1:[3]

State Issue 1 would permit the State of Ohio to issue general obligation bonds to support the construction, renovation and repair of facilities for Ohio’s public schools and state-supported colleges and universities. The ability to issue such bonds for this purpose will result in an overall savings for Ohio taxpayers. General obligation bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the state and therefore enable the state to secure a lower interest rate.

The Legislative Budget Office has estimated that State Issue 1 could save taxpayers $979,000 annually in interest payments for each $1 billion in bonds sold or $14.6 million over the life of the 15-year bonds. For 20-year bonds, the savings is expected to be $688,000 annually or $13.7 million over the life of the bonds.

State Issue 1 includes a safeguard to prohibit the State from issuing more debt than may be managed in a fiscally responsible and efficient way. Bonds could only be issued if the annual principal and interest due on all bonds (excluding revenue-backed bonds) will not exceed 5% of the State’s estimated general revenue funds and net lottery proceeds. The legislature could increase that percentage if necessary, but only by a 3/5th’s vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Issue 1 will:

  • Result in a lower-cost method of borrowing money for construction, renovation and repair of school buildings;
  • Save taxpayer dollars, while improving facilities for elementary, secondary and higher education;
  • Include a safeguard to responsibly control the amount of debt that can be issued.

[4]

Opposition

The Ohio Ballot Board voted not to have an argument prepared against the proposed constitutional amendment.

See also

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