For a more in depth discussion of Proposition 4, and the ten other initiatives on the ballot this November, join us for the California Initiative Review Forum in the Lecture Hall at McGeorge School of Law on tomorrow from 5:30 – 7:30pm. Details on tomorrow evening’s event here.

Proposition 4: The Children’s Hospital Bond Act of 2018

Current Law

  • Propositions 61 and 3, passed in 2004 and 2008 respectively, allowed the State to sell bonds to fund projects for qualifying children’s hospitals in California.
  • Propositions 61 and 3 allowed the 8 qualified non-profit hospitals and the 6 University of California system hospitals to apply portions of the respective $750 million and $980 million in bonds for infrastructure projects related to the treatment of critically-ill children.
  • The bonds are available for use until the end of 2018.

Proposed Law

  • Proposition 4 would allow the State to sell an additional $1.5 billion in bonds to fund projects for qualified children’s hospitals.
  • While substantially similar to the previous Children’s Hospital Bond Acts, Proposition 4 would increase the total funds available, have a longer 15 year period for hospitals to apply for funding, and includes additional hospitals that provide pediatric services to children eligible for the California Children’s Services program.

Policy Considerations

Yes on Proposition 4 No on Proposition 4
  • Allows for faster funding of large projects that benefit children throughout the state.
  • Creates certainty in funding for children’s hospitals since bonds are not based on year-to-year appropriations from the State.
  • Improvements in children’s healthcare have led to greater success rates for the recovery of critically-ill children.
  • Will add $2.9 billion in State debt when interest is taken into consideration.
  • The State is currently responsible for $33 billion in general obligation bond debt in part due to the initiative process, making it more difficult for the state to budget accordingly.
  • Concern that the beneficiaries of the general bond measure were the only funders of the proposition campaign, though contributions total 1% or less of the amount the money the hospital would be eligible for under Proposition 4.

Analysis of Proposition 4 provided by Peter Leoni, Sarah Steimer, and John Knobel.