Campaign 2014 Results: Transportation, Energy, Conservation Measures
Of the ballot measures we covered, the Massachusetts voter initiative to roll back inflation-adjustment of the state gasoline excise tax was arguably the most important.
A decisive loss for sustainable gas tax funding—53 percent voting in support (to roll back indexing) and 47 percent opposed (retain indexing), reports WPRI. What does the vote to toss gas tax indexing portend for increasing state gas taxes? Read more in T4America, Governing, Politico Morning Transportation and Streetsblog.
- Louisiana: WGNO reports: "Amendment No. 4 the Investment of Public Funds failed with 68 percent of voters saying no Tuesday. The amendment would have allowed the state to invest public money in an infrastructure bank for eligible transportation projects.
- Maryland: Ballotpedia notes that Question 1, "a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, was approved. It provides for the establishment of a constitutionally-defined transportation trust fund and requires that revenues in the fund be used for paying transportation-related bond debt and for the construction and maintenance of highways."
- Wisconsin Ballotpedia reports: "Question 1, a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, was approved. The measure required that revenue generated by transportation fees and taxes be deposited into the state's transportation fund. According to the amendment, none of the revenue collected from transportation-related levies could be appropriated to any program that is not directly administered by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
In Texas, where voters decided whether to allow oil and gas tax revenue to fund roads, Daniel C. Vock of Governing reports that "Proposition 1 passed overwhelmingly, with 80 percent of voters supporting the measure late Tuesday night."
Environmental groups spent nearly twice as much money as their opponents to set aside some oil revenue for protecting the land, but the ballot measure lost by a landslide.
In California, Governor Jerry Brown's signature $7.5 billion water bond won passage, reports the Sacramento Bee. "Voters were backing Proposition 1 by 67.5 percent to 32.5 percent with 35 percent of precincts reporting."
Moving on to local measures, a Seattle bus funding initiative was approved. "Originally conceived as a way to preserve bus service slated for cuts, then repackaged as a means to fund additional transit hours, the ballot measure was ahead 58.8 percent to 41.1 percent as of 8 p.m. on Tuesday," reports Crosscut.com. The initiative was devised after a King County bus funding initiative failed due to the high proportion of suburban voters.
Look for forthcoming analysis on the outcome of the fracking ban measures as well as other election results.