With the election just a week away, we thought it was time for us to weigh-in on the three referenda — the $65.7 million transportation bond; the $21 million higher education bond; and $15 million environmental bond issue. Even though we are always leery of adding to the state’s debt, we also believe these projects are essential to the maintenance and improvement of our infrastructure and preservation of our quality of life. We urge passage of all three.
Transportation Bond: All one needs to do is travel our state’s roadways to understand how important it is that we invest in their improvement. For years, the Department of Transportation has suffered because it has not had adequate funds to undertake the multitude of projects that are necessary to maintain and improve our roadways. Additionally, if we fail to pass the bond, we will pass up on millions of dollars in matching federal funds.
Higher Education Bond: Again, this state has spent years neglecting the infrastructure at our state’s colleges and universities, particularly at the University of Rhode Island. This bond only continues to slowly move forward the program of rehabilitating buildings that are in desperate need of attention. We believe it is our obligation to continue to support improvements to the infrastructure of our university, and to the improvements at our other campuses.
Environmental Management Bond: While for some preserving our open spaces and developing recreation areas might seem trivial, this reaches to the core of our state’s most precious asset, our quality of life. We need to ensure for generations to come that in Rhode Island we will have ample opportunity for meaningful recreation, in this case bicycle paths, and open spaces that allow us to enjoy those assets that set Rhode Island apart from much of the rest of the nation.