Todd Myers and Brandon Houskeeper

Important Questions to Ask about Referendum 52

This election, citizens in Washington will consider Referendum 52, a $500 million bond measure to fund energy retrofits on public buildings. Voters should consider several key questions as they cast their ballots: ● Will the measure create or kill jobs? ● Will savings be greater than costs? ● Will we improve the learning environment of our schools? ● Should we ignore other education needs to fund this project? R-52’s sponsors promise the measure will create new jobs and improve the health of schools by providing grants aimed at reducing energy costs. A closer review, however, shows R-52 is unlikely to live up to these promises, and will cost taxpayers a total of $937 million over the life of the bonds.