Proposition 53

October 18, 2016 — by Andrew Owens

Propostition 53 

In the early 2000s a proposal was made to build a $400 million bridge, which would connect an island of 50 people to the Alaskan mainland. Legislators had hoped to win the votes of cash-strapped districts by spending this money. Thankfully, spending for the bridge was eliminated in 2005 (though much of the money went to the state in different forms). To prevent this kind of wasteful spending, voters must approve Proposition 53. The measure requires all proposed projects that cost $2 billion or more be put to a statewide vote. $2 billion is a good start, but as the Gravina Island Bridge shows, massive amounts of money can be wasted anywhere.

Right now, the state is not required to place expensive projects on the ballot. It is necessary to leave such major decisions to the voters, a group who can’t be bought by donors or influenced by lobbyists.

Prop 53 allows us to take control of runaway spending in our state, which has nearly $500 billion in debt.