Louisiana residents approved one transportation funding-related measure and declined another during the statewide election held Oct. 24.
Constitutional Amendment 2, passed by voters 53 percent to 47 percent, authorizes the state treasurer to invest existing public funds into the newly-created state infrastructure bank solely for use on low-interest loans for local transportation projects. Lawmakers hope this measure will provide local governments with quicker and more affordable financing for improvements on roads and bridges.
Ballot text read:
“Do you support an amendment to authorize the investment of funds for a state infrastructure bank to be used solely for transportation projects?”
A similar measure was defeated by voters in November 2014. (Read the Center’s in-depth case study on the 2014 ‘Louisiana Transportation Infrastructure Amendment’ here.)
On the same ballot, voters defeated a measure that would have generated $500 million per year for transportation funding. Constitutional Amendment 1, which lost 47 percent to 53 percent, would have distributed a portion of the state’s mineral revenues to a ‘Transportation Stabilization Subfund’, for use on state transportation infrastructure projects.
Ballot text read:
“Do you support an amendment to rename the Budget Stabilization Fund to the Budget and Transportation Stabilization Trust; to authorize the mineral revenue base to be increased every five years; to create the Budget Stabilization Subfund as a subfund in the Trust, to be funded with mineral revenues until reaching a maximum balance of five hundred million dollars, to be appropriated and used when the state has a deficit; to create the Transportation Stabilization Subfund as a subfund in the Trust, to be funded with mineral revenues until reaching a maximum balance of five hundred million dollars, to be appropriated and used for planning, design, construction, and maintenance connected with the state highway program, with twenty percent dedicated for use by the Louisiana Intermodal Connector Program; and to provide for the interruption of deposits into the Budget Stabilization Subfund and the Transportation Trust Subfund the year that the state has a deficit and the following year with the resumption of deposit of mineral revenues in the Budget and Transportation Stabilization Trust thereafter?”
A legislatively-commissioned report released Aug. 5 found that funding for Louisiana’s Transportation Trust Fund (TFF) is not keeping pace with the growing needs the of state’s highways, and an estimated $12 billion in additional revenue is required in order to provide necessary maintenance and modernization for transportation infrastructure.