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Yes to Incentives; Brighter Outlook for Schools

Alabama voters approved one of the largest bond issue programs in the nation on election day, second highest of all that were not designated for schools, according to an election recap published by Bloomberg.

Alabama’s bond program will provide refinancing for some existing bonds and additional funding up to $750 million for industry incentives. State officials estimate $150 million should be available within a year.

Bloomberg noted national voter reluctance to approve spending, even though financing rates are at record lows. The news service quoted Matt Fabian, of Municipal Market Advisors, saying, “Issuer austerity is alive and well. Public officials are not getting rewarded by voters for bringing large capital projects.”

In an unrelated move, the state board of education proposed a $4.1 billion budget that would allow schools to fill 459 teaching jobs that have been lost during the recession, increase textbook funds, revive arts programs and more.

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