Voters approve transportation ballot initiatives across the country

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WASHINGTON — While U.S. House and Senate races took much of the attention of voters during Tuesday’s election, a number of transportation-related initiatives were on the ballot across the country.

In Broward County, Fla., voters agreed to increase the local sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to raise $16 billion for transportation projects during the next 30 years. Miami's WPLG-TV reports that 60 percent of residents voted for the measure with 40 percent casting ballots against it. Among the projects that could be funded through the new tax is a proposed light-rail line in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

In Maine, voters authorized a $106-million bond for transportation projects across the state, about $20 million of which will go to ports, airports, and freight and passenger rail projects.

In Connecticut, voters approved a constitutional amendment that prohibits the legislature from using money in the state transportation fund (money from fuel taxes and registration fees among other things) for anything other than transportation projects.

And in California, voters decided to keep a gas tax increase the state passed last year that will pay for a number of major transportation projects, including CalTrain electrification.

Colorado voters overwhelmingly voted down two propositions that would have increased transportation funding in the state. Nearly half of the money raised would have gone toward highway maintenance and another 40 percent would have been doled out to local governments, but 15 percent of what will be raised would go toward “multimodal transportation options,” including mass transit and rail.
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