Rhode Island Voters Bullish on Housing, Arts and Ed Spending

March 8, 2021 by TWN Staff
Inside the Rhode Island State House.

Rhode Island voters authorized $400 million in borrowing last week, funding projects across the states ranging from improving state beaches to renovating affordable housing projects to bosltering arts and state preservation progams.

The seven bond measures were on the ballot in an unusual March special election necessistated by state lawmakers failing to approve them in time to make the November ballot.

Despite the delay, more than 101,000 Rhode Islanders voted in the election, with about 68,000 submitting their ballots by mail, 9,400 voting early but in person, and a final 23,700 voting in person on election day.

In passing all seven separate questions, voters authorized $107 million for projects at the three state colleges; $74 million in borrowing for green initiatives such as state beaches and parks; $65 million for affordable housing development; $72 million for transportation infrastructure; $15 million for early childhood education infrastructure; $7 million for arts and culture; and $60 million for  industrial site development at Quonset, site of a former Naval air station.

In a statement, Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner said the voters had chosen “to build a stronger, brighter future” for the state.

“In times of great crisis, we need to be bold and with these bond measures, Rhode Islanders are spurring local job creation, making ourselves more competitive in the regional and global market and jumpstarting a broad-based recovery from COVID-19,” he said.

According to Ballotopedia, 13 statewide measures have been certified across the country as of last week.

These range from a measure in New York State to create a state constitutional right to clean air, clean water, and a healthful environment to one in Maine that would prohibit construction of a controversial electric transimission line project while requiring a two-thirds vote of each state legislative chamber to approve similar projects in the future.

In addition, five statewide measures have already been certified for the 2022 ballot.

In the latest instance, the South Dakota Legislature last week put a constitutional amendment on the June 7 ballot that would require three-fifths supermajority approval by voters to pass any future ballot measure that would increase taxes or fees or require the state to appropriate $10 million or more in the first five fiscal years.

Ballotopedia also reports that signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for five additional 2022 initiatives in California, Maine, and Michigan.

In The States

Maryland Enacts Sweeping Reforms to Make Police More Accountable
In The States
Maryland Enacts Sweeping Reforms to Make Police More Accountable
April 13, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland's General Assembly on Saturday enacted the nation’s most sweeping police reform legislation to make officers more accountable to the public. The new rules place more restrictions on use of force and no-knock warrants. Other provisions require body cameras and give civilians a... Read More

White House Issuing Reports on States' Infrastructure Needs
Infrastructure
White House Issuing Reports on States' Infrastructure Needs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden White House is amplifying the push for its $2.3 trillion infrastructure package with the release of state-by-state breakdowns that show the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing affordability.The figures in the state summaries, obtained by The Associated... Read More

Gaylord National Resort to Reopen July 1
Travel
Gaylord National Resort to Reopen July 1
April 8, 2021
by TWN Staff

In a sign that the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is continuing, the Washington D.C. area’s largest hotel -- the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor -- will reopen July 1. Hotel owner Ryman Hospitality Properties lost more than a year of convention and conference business... Read More

Wild Songbirds Spreading Salmonella Infection
Health
Wild Songbirds Spreading Salmonella Infection
April 8, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The CDC has issued a report finding that small, yellow-tinged songbirds from the finch family were linked to 19 infections of salmonella across the U.S.   Rachel Curtis-Robles, a public health educator and outreach officer for the California Department of Wildlife, advised residents of San Mateo... Read More

Texas Legislature Poised to Pass State Voting Restrictions
In The States
Texas Legislature Poised to Pass State Voting Restrictions
April 7, 2021
by Reece Nations

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Republicans are moving to pass their own set of limits on voting as legislation restricting early voting access awaits a House committee assignment.  The Texas bill, one of 361 bills pending nationwide with restrictive provisions, passed along party lines in the Senate... Read More

Legality of Vaccine Passports Mired in Mix of Interpretations
In The States
Legality of Vaccine Passports Mired in Mix of Interpretations
April 7, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

An executive order on Tuesday from Texas' governor that prohibits state agencies from using tax money for vaccine passports is kicking up a dispute over the breadth of public health laws during the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines and other private companies are moving ahead with their own... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top