EDITORIAL: ‘Yes’ on State Prop. 1

WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you had, let’s say, $4.2 billion to spend? That’s a question voters will be asked to decide on this year’s ballot, sort of.

Last year the state legislature and the governor agreed to borrow $4.2 billion in bonds to fund public works capital projects that address climate change. The measure is called the “Clean Air, Clean Water, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022,” otherwise known as “State Proposal 1.” It can be found on every ballot in the state this year.

The state Board of Elections describes the purpose of the bond act this way: “to provide funding for capital projects for the following: restoration and flood risk reduction (at least $1,100,000,000), open space land conservation and recreation (up to $650,000,000), climate change mitigation (up to $1,500,000,000), and water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure (at least $650,000,000).

The state has lists of the types of projects the bond act can fund.”

A quick glance at the Ballotpedia election website showed five large environmental and conservation groups, including Riverkeeper, supporting the bond act. The one conservative organization that appeared on the Ballotpedia site faulted the state’s plan to assume more debt, saying that it would drive more people out of the state because of higher taxes.

Maybe. But keep in mind that this is a small fraction of the costs we face.

Climate change is already here; we can’t wish it away. The choice is not between acting now or acting “later” to fix or harden our vital infrastructure. The choice is to fix and harden what we’ve got right now or learn to live without it.

Voters have a role to play. The Clean Air, Clean Water, Green Jobs bond act will take effect immediately—but only if voters approve it.

All it takes is turning over your ballot to the side where the propositions are printed and fill in the “YES” oval below “State Proposal 1.” A simple majority is all it takes to start implementation of the Clean Air, Clean Water, Green Jobs bond act. The deciding votes could be ours.

Please vote for State Proposal 1.

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