The residents of Los Angeles County, who said no along with the rest of California to all eight statewide propositions on the special election ballot, showed they also knew how to vote yes on Tuesday by approving local Measure Y, the fourth installment of a school construction and maintenance bond. The bond needed 55 percent to pass; it got more than 65 percent. Los Angeles Unified School District officials have promised that the bond will allow the end of the year-round schedule and complete a building project begun almost a decade ago with Measure BB. Before then, no public schools had been built in Los Angeles in three decades, and even the newest schools were overcrowded and in poor repair. The overwhelming voter approval of Measure Y is more likely a reflection of the dire need for safe classrooms than a vote of confidence in the often unpopular school district.Despite increasing voter rebellion at ballot measures, the outlook for bond success at the polls may be bright. The percentage of voters who own homes and who therefore will foot the bill for paying off the bonds over the coming decades is shrinking. Its a sort of back-door solution to Proposition 13, a homeowner rebellion that in 1978 cut and froze property taxes and stopped a lot of public spending. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently proposed a $1 billion housing bond, noting that the city failed for decades to invest not just in schools but also in housing.
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