Rhode Island Capital Bonds for Transportation Question, Question 3 (2010)
The measure was proposed to allow the state to issue general obligation bonds to match federal funds to improve state highways, roads and bridges. The amount would not be able to exceed $80 million. Another $4.7 million would be used to buy and improve buses for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority's bus fleet.
- See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Official election results of the measure follow:
|Question 3 (Transportation Bonds)|
Results via Rhode Island State Board of Elections.
Text of measure
|Bond issues on the ballot in 2010|
Approval of this question will authorize the State of Rhode Island to issue general obligation bonds, refunding bonds, and temporary notes in an amount not to exceed eighty million dollars ($80,000,000) to match federal funds and provide direct funding for improvements to the state's highways, roads and bridges and four million seven hundred thousand dollars ($4,700,000) to purchase and/or rehabilitate buses for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority's bus fleet.
The summary of the measure read as follows:
Approval of this question will authorize the State of Rhode Island to issue general obligation bonds, refunding bonds, and temporary notes in an amount not to exceed eighty million dollars ($80,000,000) to match federal funds and provide direct funding for improvements to the state’s highways, roads, and bridges and four million seven hundred thousand dollars ($4,700,000) to purchase and/or rehabilitate buses for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority’s bus fleet.
According to Robert Shawyer, of the Planning and Finance Division at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, the measure would allow the $80 million roadway money to provide a state match that was needed to leverage approximately $160 million in federal money each year. The Rhode Island Legislature historically did not use money from the general fund to match federal money, leaving the Department of Transportation to borrow money, according to Shawyer. The department relied on federal money to pay for projects that included road resurfacing and bridge work.
- The Rhode Island Tea Party planned to vote 'no' on the measure. According to Colleen Conley, president of the group, "In 2008, we borrowed $87.2 million and look at the state of our roads and bridges. They are worse now then they have ever been. Where has that money gone?"
The following contributions were made in support of the measure:
|Reporting period||Contributor||Contributions or Expenditures|
|July 7-August 31||Construction Industries of Rhode Island||$19,059.22|
|September 1-30||Construction Industries of Rhode Island||$86,016.82|
|October 1-31||Construction Industries of Rhode Island||$82,459.02|
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 published an editorial stating their support for the measure. The editorial stated, "Yes, we worry about debt in the Ocean State and in Washington, but this money is for things the government must do. It’s a repair job that Rhode Island must perform with or without federal aid. So please vote for Question 3."
- Rhode Island Legislature, "Relating to capital development program"
- Rhode Island Secretary of State, "Sample Ballot," retrieved September 24, 2010
- Providence Business News, "November ballot asks voters if state can borrow $177M for projects," September 28, 2010
- Turnto10.com, "Voters to decide on transportation bond issue," October 28, 2010
- Rhode Island Campaign Finance, "Other filings," accessed October 25, 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 3," October 29, 2010
State of Rhode Island
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | General Treasurer | Auditor General | Commissioner of Education | Superintendent of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Environmental Management | Director of Labor | Chair of Public Utilities |