The state may contract debts not exceeding five hundred million dollars for the purpose of providing moneys for acquisition of rights-of-way and for construction and reconstruction of highways on the state highway system. Not more than one hundred twenty-five million dollars of the debt authorized by this section shall be contracted within any calendar year, and no part of such debt shall be contracted after the thirty-first day of March, 1962. The principal amount of any part of such debt at any time contracted shall be paid in substantially equal semi-annual or annual installments, beginning not later than eighteen months after such debt is contracted, and in such number of installments that the entire debt shall be discharged not later than the year 1972. Securities evidencing the debt authorized by this section shall bear interest and shall be sold upon such terms as may be prescribed by law. Both the principal of such debt and the interest thereon shall be exempt from taxation by this state or by any taxing subdivision thereof. Moneys raised under the authority of this section shall be expended only to provide adequate highways, including the acquisition of rights-of-way and including participation therein with federal government, municipal corporations, counties and other legally authorized participants, but excluding costs of planning and supervision by the state. All construction shall be done by contract as shall be provided by law. No part of such proceeds shall be appropriated except to meet the requirements of programs or schedules of acquisition of rights-of-way, highway construction and reconstruction which the governor, or other highway authority with the concurrence of the governor, shall submit to the General Assembly before such appropriations are made. Such appropriations shall be made only for major thoroughfares of the state highway system and urban extensions thereof. The debt contracted under the authority of this section shall be paid by revenue bonds issued by the state of Ohio as provided by law, secured by a pledge of moneys derived from fees, excises or license taxes, levied by the state of Ohio, relating to registration, operation, or use of vehicles on public highways, or to fuels used for propelling such vehicles, and a sufficient amount thereof shall be set aside each year, before any other distribution is made, to pay the interest on the outstanding debt and principal of such debt becoming due in that year, without other appropriations, but according to regulations to be established by law.
The General Assembly shall meet on the second Monday in January, 1954, for the sole purpose of enacting laws pursuant to this section.
(Adopted November 3, 1953.)