Issue 1 authorizes the state of Ohio to issue bonds to pay for or help local governments pay for public infrastructure capital improvements. The amendment would allow the state to borrow up to $1.875 billion over 10 years.
Under the amendment, public infrastructure capital improvements shall be limited to:
- waste water treatment systems
- water supply systems
- solid waste disposal facilities
- stormwater and sanitary collection, storage and treatment facilities.
The Ohio General Assembly placed the issue on the ballot. The resolution had broad support in the legislature, passing 31-0 in Ohio Senate and 90-2 in Ohio House.
Voters first approved a similar amendment in 1987 and have renewed it twice since then in 1995 and 2005. Committees in the Public Works Commission’s 19 districts divvy up the money each year to local governments who apply for aid. Farm Bureau supported a similar initiative in 1995 and then again in 2005 when it was paired together with approval of the Third Frontier Initiative.
The issue aligns with several policies developed by Farm Bureau members including expressing concern for quality of life issues in communities, encouraging the Ohio Department of Transportation to prioritize infrastructure improvements and supporting efforts to prevent contamination of surface and groundwater supplies.
Supporters note that the measure is one of the few stable funding sources for improving local infrastructure and the state’s debt to revenue ratio is fiscally sound.