RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond voters have passed the school modernization referendum for aging schools to get a much-needed upgrade without hurting tax payers.

The referendum, crafted by longtime political strategist Paul Goldman, was passed with 85 percent of the vote.

Mayor Levar Stoney and city council will now have six months to come up with a plan to fix deteriorating schools without raising taxes.

Stoney said in a tweet on Monday that he expected the referendum to pass, but “on principle” he could not support it.

“Leaders don’t need a referendum or the GA to tell us we need to fund a facilities plan now or how to do it,” Stoney said. “Council, school board and I know it must be done. We need to do our job.”

The referendum now must pass through the Virginia General Assembly.

Related: Richmond School Board discussing referendum to modernize schools

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