Experts Expound

Experts Expound

I think it is all infrastructure to the public and can all be put in one.

It’s probably easier to pass a single, up-or-down vote. But as long as it’s on the ballot one way or another, it shouldn’t make a great deal of difference.

This is a blatant violation of the single-subject rule. Not only does the so-called bond have bond authority, it makes significant changes to the statutory schemes of our state’s education, water and transportation systems.

If this thing drags on much longer and it doesn’t get closed out, there probably won’t be chance for a single bond. The lobbyists’ interest groups, and everyone else with a dog in this fight, will pile too much extraneous stuff on to it.

Yes, it applies. The bonds should be split rather than passing a retroactive constitutional amendment, which is what is being proposed currently. Let’s do it right.

Legislative leaders know it is a violation and that is why the current version of the bond package has an attached ACA, which would amend the constitution to allow it. It takes a two-thirds vote to put a bond on the ballot and a two-thirds vote to put on a constitutional amendment. Therefore, the constitutional protection is only a protection if the minority party protects it.

Unfortunately, voters are less likely to approve things like rail, ports, and levees that they don’t have or don’t feel a direct connection to. To ensure those infrastructure projects get covered along with “popular” infrastructure projects like schools and parks, the mega-bond is the only route to take.

Ugh. It will take the courts, and a regiment of high-priced lawyers, to figure out if the single-subject rule applies; it’s beyond my knowledge.

In an ideal world, though, I’d stick it all in one package. Separate bond measures for each of the infrastructure categories might further diminish the state’s flexibility when it comes to future spending of bond revenues. One package should allow the state to shift bond money from category to category — where it is needed most at any given moment — rather than lock it in

The Democrats would never allow it, but each issue should be addressed and voted on separately. We had education and housing bonds on the 2002 General ballot and education, voting modernization and transportation funding in the 2002 primary. And in past years, the state has had as many as 5 bond measures on the ballot. This bond is now becoming a Christmas tree, and some are afraid that if this bond were split into issues their pet project would not be passed

[i]The people from whom we sought opinions: Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Don Wilcox, Jon Fleischman, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Dan Schnur, Jason Kinney, Tom Kise, Karen Hanretty, Kevin Spillane, Michael Houston, Matt Ross, Sam Delson, Adam Mendelsohn, Mike Madrid, Morgan Crinklaw, Dave Lesher, Richard Zeiger, Ralph Simoni, Bob Hertzberg, Scott Baugh, Steve Maviglio, Tony Quinn, Peter DeMarco, Adam Probolsky, Barbara O’Connor, Jack Pitney.[i]

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