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How America Voted on Infrastructure

On Nov. 6, voters across the country decided on hundreds of ballot measures to invest in infrastructure.

A majority of California residents voted against repealing the Road Repair and Accountability Act, which is known as Senate Bill 1. The bill was passed in 2017 and raised the user fee on gasoline by 12 cents per gallon. Last year, there was opposition to the increased rates, leading to a ballot measure for its repeal. However, as the repeal was voted down, Californians will see an estimated $5.4 billion annual investment for California’s transportation systems over the next 10 years and funding for more than 6,500 bridge and road safety projects currently underway across the state. It also provides for 68,000 jobs per year and $183 billion in economic growth. Drivers in the state should expect to see additional savings, despite paying more at the pump, since the funding will help fix potholes across the state, reduce annual vehicle repair costs and improve traffic congestion.

Connecticut chose to create a lockbox for transportation funds that will ensure revenue generated for transportation projects and initiatives is used exclusively for transportation-related purposes.

Voters passed dozens of ballot measures in counties and Congressional districts throughout the country. According to the Eno Center for Transportation, a vast number of transportation related ballot measures were for local roads. Two similar measures in Florida’s Hillsborough and Broward Counties will raise the sales tax in each county by a penny to generate funds for transportation improvements were approved by voters. In many counties, voters approved the sale of bonds for transportation infrastructure that will go towards various projects.

The outcome of this year’s ballot measures reflects a concerning and growing trend seen over the past few years. NSSGA members have supplied the materials for many local and state level infrastructure projects enacted despite shortfalls in federal funding. According to a recent poll, 72 percent of Americans support greater investment in infrastructure and believe that infrastructure spending stimulates the economy. NSSGA anticipates further action on infrastructure investment in the new Congress.