PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders can vote on three statewide ballot measures in the general election, along with any local referendums.
Voters are being asked if the state should borrow hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds to fund a series of projects involving public education facilities and environmental and recreational programs.
Here’s what you need to know about the statewide ballot questions:
Question 1. URI Narragansett Bay Campus – $100 million
Voters will decide whether the state should borrow $100 million to fund new construction at the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Narragansett Bay Campus. The money would support “educational and research needs in ocean engineering, oceanography, and other marine-related disciplines,” according to the Secretary of State’s website. Construction would be completed by September 2026.
A ‘yes’ vote supports issuing $100 million in bonds to invest in the URI Narragansett Bay Campus.
A ‘no’ vote is against the issuance of $100 million in bonds for investment in the URI Narragansett Bay Campus.
The total cost with interest would be $160,483,750.
Question 2. Rhode Island School Buildings – $250 Million
The ballot measure will decide if the state will issue $250 million in bonds to fund renovations and construction at public schools. Districts can receive funding for projects related to health and safety concerns, early childhood education, career and technical education, and other educational needs, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Funding will be available for school districts to use in 2023 and requires them to break ground on the developments within five years of being approved for the funding.
A ‘yes’ vote would approve the state issuing $250 million in bonds to fund public school building improvements and construction.
A ‘no’ vote would reject the state’s plan to issue $250 million in bonds meant to improve public school buildings.
The total cost with interest would be $401,214,500.
Question 3. Green Economy Bonds – $50 Million
Voters will also decide if they support issuing $50 million in bonds to fund different environmental and recreational projects.
The money will be split between different projects:
- Municipal Resiliency: $16 million
- Roger Williams Park Zoo: $12 million
- Small Business Energy Loan Program: $5 million
- Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development: $4 million
- Narragansett Bay and Watershed Restoration: $3 million
- Forest Restoration: $3 million
- State Land Acquisition Program: $3 million
- Local Land Acquisition Matching Grant Program: $2 million
- Local Recreation Development Matching Grant Program: $2 million
A ‘yes’ vote means voters approve the state issuing $50 million in green economy bonds.
A ‘no’ vote rejects the State’s proposal to issue $50 million in green economy bonds.
The total cost with interest would be $80,242,500.
Early voting is already underway. The last day for voters to cast their ballots in on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022.