Tuesday, Dec 06, 2016
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Politics

Statewide support strong for infrastructure bonds

All 88 counties, nearly two-thirds of voters back Issue 1

COLUMBUS — Support for the renewal and expansion of a popular bond issue for local public infrastructure across the state swept all 88 counties as Ohioans voted for it nearly 2 to 1.

Issue 1, the sole statewide question on the ballot Tuesday, received 789,367 “yes” votes, or 65.1 percent of the total, compared with 423,270, or 34.9 percent, who said “no.”

In Lucas County, the constitutional amendment received just under 69 percent of the vote.

Voters agreed to borrow $1.875 billion over 10 years to help finance drinking water, road, bridge, sewer, and other public works construction, an increase of $525 million since they last renewed the State Capital Improvement Program in 2005. This marked the program’s third renewal since voters approved its creation 27 years ago.

The program will distribute $175 million a year for local projects during the first five years and then $200 million a year for the next five.

That’s up from $150 million a year currently.

The program had broad support among lawmakers, business organizations, local governments, and labor.

There was no organized opposition, although the Libertarian Party of Ohio and the conservative 1851 Center for Constitutional Law voiced concerns about using the state constitution to increase the state’s debt.

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