On November 2nd, voters will decide whether to let the state sign contracts on transportation projects before it has all the money for them upfront.
For years, the state would start building a road before it had all the cash for it in the bank. The Department of Transportation used to engage in multi-year contracts, but that all changed in 2008, after a state audit of the DOT. It found that the practice violates the state constitution which prevents multi-year contracts in order to protect the state’s credit.
"And what they did is added up the value of all outstanding contracts, many that spanned many years and charged them against only the 2008 revenue. It created on paper a 1.4 billion dollar deficit," says state transportation board member David Doss.
Doss says that crippled the DOT’s ability to start new projects. Amendment three would let the DOT enter in multi-year obligations.