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Growth At The Ballot Box: Brookings Report Released

The Brookings Institution

April 2001

The Brookings Institution recently released Growth At The Ballot Box: Electing The Shape of Communities in November 2000.

The report identifies and examines those ballot measures that went before voters on Election Day 2000 which, if passed, would have impacted the quality and pace of growth in states and communities.

Researchers found that there were 553 state and local ballot measures related to growth, with 72.2% of them passing. Of the measures, nearly half (257 or 44.7%) dealt with the preservation of open space, and 201 of those passed. Also, of the 553 measures, 26.1% were related to infrastructure, 16.3% were designed to regulate growth, and 8.5% were designed to promote economic development.

Of the 38 states that had statewide or local measures on growth, California had the most -- a total of 78 measures. Of these, two were statewide measures and the remainder local measures pertaining to growth. The first statewide measure, Proposition 37, failed on the ballot. It would have required a 2/3rds vote of the legislature or 2/3rds of local voters to impose future state or local fees to study or mitigate an activity's environmental, societal or economic effects. The other statewide measure, Proposition 39, dealing with infrastructure and specifically schools, was approved by voters.

The report outlines each measure by state and indicates which of them were approved by voters. The report can be viewed in its entirety at .

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