Election 2018 – Ballot Initiatives Around the Country
Election Day 2018 is over, and Americans didn’t just vote for candidates, they also approved many ballot measures across the country. These issues include the levy of local taxes to fund infrastructure projects, such as housing the homeless, approval of state and local bonding programs, legalization and taxation of marijuana, and expanding Medicaid access, among other key initiatives.
New Tax Levy
In San Francisco, voters approved a tax on businesses that make more than $50 million per year. The new levy will go to fund housing for the homeless residents.
Funding Infrastructure, Education
California voters also decided to support an initiative that would authorize $4 billion in general obligation bonds for housing-related programs, loans, grants, and projects for veterans.
Voters in Maine approved a ballot initiative to give $30 million in general obligation bonds for wastewater infrastructure improvements.
Nevada residents voted to approve bonds that would authorize the sale and issuance of $10.77 million to address code compliances in senior living facilities as well as help purchase new equipment and vehicles. A bond initiative for $12.876 million was approved to help Nevada public schools, academies, tribal schools, and public libraries.
Arizonans also voted on a ballot initiative that would prohibit state and local government officials from enacting new taxes or increasing taxes on services, this initiative passed. Additionally, a ballot initiative passed to improve Pima County roads and infrastructure, this bond would provide $420 million that would aim to repair 2,200 miles of road in the county.
New Jersey voters approved a bond that would issue $500 million in general obligation bonds to vocational schools, career college, and technical education and school water infrastructure and school security.
Rhode Island approved two major bonds for school buildings; one issues $250 million over five years with no more than $100 million issued in a year to fund school housing aid and building authority capital fund. While the other Issues $70 million in bonds to improve higher education facilities.
Sustainability for Tomorrow
In Arizona and Nevada, voters decided on ballot initiatives to reduce fossil fuel usage and increase renewable energy resources and utility competition within in their states. In Arizona, this ballot initiative failed while it passed in Nevada.
Increasing Minimum Wage
Arkansas voted to increase the state minimum wage incrementally to $11 an hour by 2021.
Missouri also approved a statewide minimum wage increase to $12 an hour by 2023.
Michigan voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana use for residents over the age of twenty-one. Retail sales of marijuana come with a 10% tax. Additionally, Utah and Missouri approved the use of marijuana for medical reasons.
Voters backed Medicaid expansion in Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah in a move that will reportedly provide healthcare to 325,000 low-income residents.