Voters in Rhode Island will decide on four bond measures at the general election

Voters in Rhode Island will decide on four bond measures at the general election on Nov. 5, 2024.

The bond measures were included in the state budget bill, House Bill 7225 (HB 7225), as a provision of Article 5. Each article was approved separately by the House and Senate. To put a legislatively referred bond question before voters, a simple majority vote is required in both the Rhode Island State Senate and the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

On June 7, 2024, the House passed Article 5 of HB 7225 by 68-6. On June 13, the Senate voted 35-2 in concurrence with the House. The governor signed HB 7225 on June 17.

The bond measures are below:

  • Higher Education Facilities Bond Measure: $160.5 million
  • $87.5 million for construction of a biomedical sciences building at the University of Rhode Island
  • $73 million to renovate Whipple Hall and improvements to the Rhode Island College Institute for Cybersecurity & Emerging Technologies
  • Housing Acquisition, Development, and Infrastructure Bond Measure: $120 million
  • $80 million for the availability of low and moderate-income housing
  • $10 million for property acquisition and redevelopment of existing structures
  • $20 million to increase production of low, moderate, and middle-income housing intended for homeownership.
  • $5 million for the acquisition of properties for redevelopment as affordable and supportive housing
  • $4 million to support pre-development and development of infrastructure to produce additional affordable housing
  • $1 million to municipalities to plan and implement additional housing development
  • Environmental and Recreational Infrastructure Bond Measure: $53 million
  • $15 million for infrastructure projects for the Port of Davisville
  • $2 million to support programs to improve community resiliency and public safety due to increased flooding, major storm events, and environmental degradation
  • $5 million for brownfield remediation projects
  • $5 million to acquire, develop, or rehabilitate local recreational facilities
  • $10 million to improve resiliency of infrastructure, coastal habitats, and rivers and stream floodplains
  • $3 million to restore and improve resiliency of the Newport Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island
  • $5 million for agricultural land preservation
  • $3 million for the open space program
  • $5 million to fund forest and habitat management on state property
  • Cultural Arts and Economy Grant Program Bond Measure: $10,000,000
  • $2 million to the Tomaquag Museum in Kingston
  • $2 million to the Newport Contemporary Ballet to build the Center for Arts, Dance, & Education
  • $2 million to the Trinity Repertory Company to expand and upgrade the Lederer Theater Center
  • $4 million to the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts to continue the Cultural Arts and Economy Grant Program for improvements, renovation, and preservation of nonprofit artistic centers, performance centers, museums, and cultural arts centers throughout Rhode Island

Between 2008 and 2021, voters in Rhode Island decided on 29 bond measures totaling $2.1 billion ($2,110,915,000) in principal value. Voters approved all of the bond measures, with support ranging from 55.23% (Question 2 of 2010) to 83.89% (Question 3 of 2016). Voters had not rejected a bond measure since 2006, when 50.56% of electors rejected a $4.0 million bond for improvements in Fort Adams State Park.

As of fiscal year 2023, the Rhode Island state debt from general obligation bonds was $1.63 million.