Skip to content

Voters approve more cash for children’s hospitals

on November 5, 2008


Nov. 5 — A proposition to give additional funds to children’s hospitals passed with 54 percent of votes in favor and 45 percent against.

Proposition 3 authorizes $980 million in general obligation bonds to fund grants for the construction, renovation, or related improvements of California children’s hospitals. The bonds will be repaid over 30 years, for a total estimated cost to the state of $2 billion, or $64 million per year.

Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland, on 52nd Street in the Temescal neighborhood, is one of thirteen potential Prop. 3 beneficiaries, including eight private and five University of California children’s hospitals. Children’s Hospital Oakland hopes to use the funds for construction to bring its facilities into compliance with state seismic standards.

The California Children’s Hospital Association, which advocates for the eight private children’s hospitals, has spent almost $6.4 million in support of Prop 3. While there is no organized opposition to the initiative, critics have raised questions about the wisdom of more spending during a budget crisis. They have also pointed out that there are still unused funds from a nearly identical 2004 bond measure, Proposition 61. There are also general concerns about the use—or, some say, abuse—of the California initiative process to fund private organizations with public money.

Part of the funding for Children’s Hospital Oakland’s new construction will come from the hospital’s $60 million share of that already-authorized Proposition 61 funding. Approved by 58% of California voters four years ago, Prop 61 authorized $750 million in general obligation bonds to fund children’s hospitals. As of June 1, 2008, about $403 million of those funds had been distributed.

In California, bonds generally fund major infrastructure projects such as roads, educational or prison facilities, and water projects. The long repayment periods—in Prop. 3’s case, 30 years—spread out the high cost of infrastructure improvements over time and distribute it across the broad pool of taxpayers who benefit from these projects. General obligation bonds such as those in Prop. 3 must be approved by voters and are repaid from the state’s General Fund, which is fed primarily by tax revenues.||||||||||||||||||||||||

Oakland North welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Oakland North assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.

Photo by Basil D Soufi
Oakland North

Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to:

Latest Posts

Scroll To Top