ACLU-PA Position: Supports
HB 1118 would require a fiscal note to be provided for all public debt questions put to the voters via ballot referendum.
Currently, when a referendum question appears on the ballot, very little—if any—financial impact information is provided to the public to allow them to make a fully informed decision about how the borrowed money will be used and what the financial impact will be for such borrowing.
HB 1118 would amend the Pennsylvania Election Code to require all statewide and local ballot referendum questions involving a bond or borrowing measure to have a fiscal note included with the question that includes:
- A description of the project proposed to be funded by the debt;
- The total costs for the project;
- The anticipated interest costs over the term of the debt; and
- Any anticipated future costs for issuing the debt.
For statewide ballot questions, information for the fiscal note will be developed by the Office of the Budget. For local ballot questions, the governing body of the local government unit that petitions for the ballot question will be responsible for developing the fiscal note.
Check the bill's status here.