Rhode Island Open Space Bonds, Question 2 (2008)

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Rhode Island Open Space Bonds, Question 2 appeared on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Rhode Island, along with one other bond question, the Transportation Bond Act. Both were placed on the ballot by the Rhode Island State Legislature.

Both bond measures were approved by voters, and the total amount is $89,715,000 ($89.715 million).

Election results

See also 2008 ballot measure election results

These results are based on the Channel 10's coverage of the election.[1]

Rhode Island Question 2 (2008)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 261,017 68%
No123,56132%

Background

Rhode Islanders have historically voted in favor of open space, land conservation and recreation development bonds. In 2004 voters passed a $70 million Open Space, Clean Water bond, with 70.8% voting in favor. The money was used for the state’s network of land trusts, preserving 19 farms and 1,678 acres of farmland, 3,600 acres of undeveloped land from 2005 to 2007 and an additional 1,531 slated for preservation this year.[2]

Specific Provisions

Bond Question 2 enacted the following provisions:

  • Authorized the Rhode Island state government to borrow $2,500,000.
  • With the money, provided funds to "purchase, or otherwise permanently protect through the purchase of title to, development rights, conservation easements and public recreation easements, greenways and other open space, recreation lands, agriculture lands, forested lands and state parks."

Supporters

Supporters included:

  • Governor Don Carcieri
  • R.I. Land Trust Council
  • Representative Donna Walsh, D-District 36
  • The Nature Conservancy

Editorial Support:

  • South County Independent[3]
  • The Providential Gardener[4]

Arguments in Support

Arguments made in support of the measure included:

  • The cost to taxpayers will be about 25 cents per resident per year, a small price to pay for essential seed money that the state can’t afford to lose.
  • If the measure fails it means the loss of upwards of $10 million in matching federal funds and grant money, stalling the land conservation movement in the Rhode Island.
  • If the lands in question are sold for development, the cost to taxpayers in additional services would be much higher than the modest amount needed to ensure their preservation as agricultural land.

Opponents

Editorial Opponents:

  • The Providence Journal[5]

Arguments in Opposition

Arguments made in opposition to the measure included:

  • Given the current economic climate, taking on debt to pay for nonessentials must be put off by a state that has been in fiscal crisis for a year already.
  • The real-estate crash and credit crunch make it likely that development pressures will decline over the next couple of years.

See also

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External links

References