Measure 68 would allow school districts to borrow money for capital improvements, including “land and other assets associated with acquisition, construction, improvement, remodeling, maintenance and repair.” The measure also would allow the state to borrow money and to match bonds approved by local voters and dedicate 15 percent of lottery proceeds toward a new fund to help pay down the bonds.
The problem with the measure, while on the surface appearing to help local school districts, is that it has unlimited spending opportunities by a state that has not learned how to reign in
From Cascade Policy Institute comes this: As Gresham-Barlow school board member Dan Chriestensen suggests, this “…appears to add yet another ornament on the Lottery Christmas tree….Given that the state would not be required to match funds…this would appear to invite a great deal of cronyism, favoritism, etc. The creation of the school capital matching fund looks like another slush fund for politicians and bureaucrats to play with.”
We suggest voters avoid this unnecessary measure and vote no.
Moving on to Measure 69
Measure 69 would allow the state to issue lowest cost bonds (the lowest cost measure of borrowing) to finance projects for the benefit of community colleges and public universities. The current law does not allow renovation of existing property to be financed with the state’s low-cost bonds.
The measure will allow a college or university to expand — for more classroom space, career and guidance counseling and worker training programs — and use the lowest-cost bonds to bring back to life older buildings that are in sound shape and often historically meaningful. Cash-strapped colleges and universities would also avoid the expense and use of natural resources required when building entirely new structures.
The measure does not increase the current limit on borrowing and actually should save money that can be used for other educational services.
We suggest voters approve this measure. PHA