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States Vote to Bolster Infrastructure Funding

November 09, 2016

Infrastructure funding was bolstered by voters in several states on election day, with measures being passed in Illinois, New Jersey, Louisiana and Maine that direct money at the issue.

With nearly 79% of the vote, the Transportation Lockbox Amendment passed in Illinois, blocking lawmakers from directing transportation funds away from transportation-related needs. Past transportation funding had been spent on funding social programs like health care and education, but this bill makes diverting funds unconstitutional, per a dnainfo.com post.

New Jersey voters approved a similar constitutional amendment that will ensure that more than $1 billion in revenue from the recently passed substantial fuel tax hike will be dedicated to transportation projects, according to a NJ.com post.

In a bipartisan deal crafted by Garden State lawmakers, the taxes on gas and diesel were raised for the first time in 30 years. The taxes are expected to account for more than half of the funding of the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.

Louisiana voters approved an amendment creating a Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund that could increase available money to spend on transportation projects. Money from oil and gas revenue and corporate taxes will fill the fund over time and when it reaches $5 billion, as much as 10% will be available for road work and construction projects, per a post by The Advocate.  

Lastly, voters in Maine approved a $100 million bond to fund infrastructure construction and rehabilitation in the state. The money will also be directed toward ports, harbors freight and railroads, according to Maine Public Radio.

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