AASHTO Journal

Voters Back $1.6B Bonding Measure for West Virginia Road Improvements

West Virginia voters on Oct. 7 approved a measure authorizing the state to issue $1.6 billion in bonds for road projects over four years, with half of the total to be issued this year.

The measure was on the ballot as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment, and it reportedly passed with about 70 percent approval in a low-turnout election.

capitol0816.jpgIt was a key part of the plan that Gov. Jim Justice and state lawmakers agreed to earlier this year, which aims to generate nearly $3 billion in additional transportation funding through a mix of state bonds plus bonds issued in anticipation of future federal highway funding and increases in motor fuel taxes, vehicle sales taxes and registration fees.

In the wake of the bond approval, Justice said he would call legislators back to an Oct. 16 special session to help implement the program the new bonds would pay for.

BallotPedia said the bonding amendment authorized the state to issue bond worth up to $800 million for the fiscal year that began July 1, $400 million more as of July 2018 and $200 million in both 2019 and 2020. "Proceeds from the bonds were designated for the improvement and construction of highways, secondary roads and bridges, as well as to qualify the state for matching federal funds for highway and bridge construction," it said.

The measure also authorized the Legislature to collect an annual state tax to repay the principal and interest for up to 25 years.

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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