Nearly $30 billion in new state and local borrowing measures was approved by voters last week across the country.
Voters this year proved to be in a less resistant mood than in recent elections, rejecting well under 10% of the proposed bond measures, representing around $3 billion.
Among the largest approved bond measures was the $7 billion for the Los Angeles Unified School District, and $3.6 billion for facility construction and improvement measures in the Dallas Independent School District.
Voters in Maricopa County, Arizona, were divided on a series of bonds totaling over $560 million for various school district facility projects.
Of the ten largest bond proposals nationally, more than half were for school improvement initiatives.
Although the numbers all seem large, a report put together by IHS Markit indicated that the total borrowing represented by the bonds was the lowest for any election since 2012.
The study suggested that many municipalities declined to propose new bonds due to the uncertainty of this year’s pandemic economy.
New Mexico was one of the few states proposing a state-wide bond: Question C, otherwise known as the Public Education Bond Issue. Nearly 65% of voters approved $156.3 million in bonds for facility construction and upgrade projects for the state’s public higher education institutions, special public school, and tribal schools.
The Maricopa vote saw a $60 million bond for school repair and update projects approved in the Cartwright Elementary School District; $130 million to build and renovate school buildings in the Glendale Union High School District; and $90 million for building improvements in the Roosevelt Elementary School District.
In Denver, voters by a 78% to 22% margin, approved a $795 million bond for new school construction projects, as well as facility expansion, update, and modernization work.
By Garry Boulard
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