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Ohio Constitution [ The 1851 Constitution with Amendments to 2015 ]

VIII.02k Issuance of bonds for local government public infrastructure capital improvement

(A) In addition to the authorization otherwise contained in Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution, the General Assembly may provide by law, in accordance with but subject to the limitations of this section, for the issuance of bonds and other obligations of the state for the purpose of financing or assisting in the financing of the cost of public infrastructure capital improvements of municipal corporations, counties, townships, and other governmental entities as designated by law. As used in this section, public infrastructure capital improvements shall be limited to roads and bridges, waste water treatment systems, water supply systems, solid waste disposal facilities, and storm water and sanitary collection, storage, and treatment facilities, including real property, interests in real property, facilities, and equipment related or incidental thereto. Capital improvements shall include without limitation the cost of acquisition, construction, reconstruction, expansion, improvement, planning, and equipping.

It is hereby determined that such public infrastructure capital improvements are necessary to preserve and expand the public capital infrastructure of such municipal corporations, counties, townships, and other governmental entities, ensure the public health, safety, and welfare, create and preserve jobs, enhance employment opportunities, and improve the economic welfare of the people of this state.

(B)(1) Not more than one hundred twenty million dollars principal amount of bonds and other obligations authorized under this section may be issued in any calendar year, provided that the aggregate total principal amount of bonds and other obligations authorized and issued under this section may not exceed one billion two hundred million dollars. Further limitations may be provided by law upon the amount of bonds that may be issued under this section in any year in order that the total debt charges of the state shall not exceed a proportion of general revenue fund expenditures that would adversely affect the credit ratings of the state. If obligations are issued under this section to retire or refund obligations previously issued under this section, the new obligations shall not be counted against those calendar year[s] or total issuance limitations to the extent that their principal amount does not exceed the principal amount of the obligations to be retired or refunded.

(2) Provision shall be made by law for the use to the extent practicable of Ohio products, materials, services, and labor in the making of any project financed, in whole or in part, under this section.

(C) The state may participate in any public infrastructure capital improvement under this section with municipal corporations, counties, townships, or other governmental entities, or any one or more of them. Such participation may be by grants, loans, or contributions to them for any of such capital improvements. The entire proceeds of the bonds shall be used for the public infrastructure capital improvements of municipal corporations, counties, townships, and other governmental entities, except to the extent that the General Assembly provides by law that the state may be reasonably compensated from such moneys for planning, financial management or other administrative services performed in relation to the bond issuance.

(D)(1) Each issue of obligations issued under this section shall mature in not more than thirty years from the date of issuance, or, if issued to retire or refund other obligations issued under this section, within thirty years from the date the debt was originally contracted. If obligations are issued as notes in anticipation of the issuance of bonds, provision shall be made by law for the establishment and maintenance, during the period in which the notes are outstanding, of a special fund or funds into which shall be paid, from the sources authorized for the payment of such bonds, the amount that would have been sufficient, if bonds maturing during a period of thirty years had been issued without such prior issuance of notes, to pay the principal that would have been payable on such bonds during such period. Such fund or funds shall be used solely for the payment of principal of such notes or of bonds in anticipation of which such notes have been issued.

(2) The obligations issued under this section are general obligations of the state. The full faith and credit, revenue, and taxing power of the state shall be pledged to the payment of the principal of and interest on such obligations as they become due, hereinafter called debt service, and bond retirement fund provisions shall be made for payment of debt service. Provision shall be made by law for the sufficiency and appropriation, for purposes of paying debt service, of excises, taxes, and revenues so pledged to debt service, and for covenants to continue the levy, collection, and application of sufficient excises, taxes, and revenues to the extent needed for such purpose. Notwithstanding section 22 of Article II, Ohio Constitution, no further act of appropriation shall be necessary for that purpose. The obligations and the provision for the payment of debt service and repayment of any loans hereunder by governmental entities are not subject to sections 5, 6, and 11 of Article XII, Ohio Constitution.

(3) The moneys referred to in section 5a of Article XII, Ohio Constitution, may not be pledged to the payment of debt service on obligations issued under authority of this section.

(4) The obligations issued under authority of this section, the transfer thereof, and the interest and other income therefrom, including any profit made on the sale thereof, shall at all times be free from taxation within the state.

(E) This section shall otherwise be implemented in the manner and to the extent provided by law by the General Assembly. (SJR 1; Adopted 11-3-87, effective 11-3-87.)

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