I think I’m in the minority of Peach Pundit contributors on these yes votes, and frankly the hour and day are late, so this post is perhaps more “off the cuff” than normal. I’m sure you all will let me know where I’m wrong, but consider this a place to start the discussion.
Amendments 3 and 4 allow the state to enter into multi-year contracts. A3 allows for long term transportation projects. There are many contracts that take more than one year to complete (i.e, the recent GA-316 interchange on i-85) You may recall that there was a huge accounting issue with GDOT recently, and much of that had to do with cost vs. accrual accounting. Many long term projects were started without the full amount of cash in the bank because they would be conducted over a multi-year period. Thus, it made no sense to have $10 Million in the bank dedicated to the project if it would only require $2.5 Million a year each year for 4 years.
The concept here is to get as many projects started as possible, while locking in prices up front rather than renegotiating every year. While there is always an opportunity for abuse of the system, I don’t see how the potential for abuse is that different if a project is let as one big contract or 4 smaller ones. In theory, this makes these contract more efficient, and matches expenditures with tax receipts.
Amendment 4 was covered earlier, but covers savings from energy efficiency upgrades to state buildings. Companies are willing to do upgrades to state buildings with payment from guaranteed savings on utility bills. To enter into this arrangement, the state must enter into multi year contracts so that the contractors can be paid out of long term savings. The state is at realtively no risk, and less natural resources are used in the long run. It’s a win-win, so I’m voting yes.
Amendment 5 is a technical correction that I’m told only affects two pieces of property in the state, both in Savannah area I believe. These properties somehow got screwed the last time the constitution was re-written, and this allows them to achieve proper zoning classifications. Or at least, that’s my surface level understanding of it.