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Munis at the Polls

Tuesday was Election Day, and choosing new representatives wasn’t the only thing on voters’ minds.

As the economy bounces back (knock on wood), so does America’s willingness to invest into local communities, and the municipal bond market is seeing big gains as a result: more than $37 billion in municipal bond measures were pushed through, out of a submitted $44B, with 13 of the 15 largest initiatives gaining approval from voters (see table to right).

The $44 billion of debt sought to finance schools, water systems, roads and hospitals was the most in a general election since 2008, and is almost three times what was on the ballot in 2010 ($16.7B).

Drought-fighting in California and the acquisition of new learning technology in New York were the biggest approved expenditures, but all across the country a wide variety of improvements, upgrades and modernizations – all meant to stabilize and enhance local infrastructure – were given the go-ahead by voters.

The $37 billion in approved funds is a welcome sight in a muni market that has been steadily shrinking since 2010, but the (relatively) large number still pales in comparison to the record $69.6 billion that voters approved in 2006, before the recession.

So no, the Guinness Book may not be calling this week, but thanks to Tuesday’s results, scores of future projects for construction, education, and road repair will be funded.

To stay on top of the muni market, follow @IpreoMuni on Twitter.

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