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 and urban extensions thereof. The principal amount of any part of such debt at any time contracted shall be paid at such time or times and in such amounts as shall be fixed by the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund provided that the entire debt shall be discharged not later than the year 1989. The bonds or other obligations 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 within this state. Moneys raised under the authority of this section shall be expended only to provide adequate highways, including engineering and the acquisition of rights-of-way and including participation therein with the federal government, municipal corporations, counties and other legally authorized participants. 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 or acquisition of rights-of-way, highway construction and reconstruction which the governor, or other highway authority designated by law, 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 evidenced by bonds or other obligations issued by the State of Ohio as provided by law. The faith and credit of the state are hereby pledged for the payment thereof and the interest thereon. Such bonds or other obligations shall be paid from 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, after provision for the amounts required by Article VIII, Section 2c of the Constitution of the State of Ohio for obligations issued pursuant to that section, is hereby appropriated in each year for the purpose of paying the interest on the outstanding debt and the principal of such debt contracted under authority of this section becoming due in that year, without other appropriations, but according to regulations to be established by law. Provision may be made by law for the transfer and the use of any amount of such moneys in excess of that required, in any year, for the payment of interest on and the principal of such debt contracted under authority of this section and said section 2c.
(Adopted May 5, 1964.)