Monday, October 27, 2008

Politics: Yes on Prop 3

This bond measure was placed on the ballot by the initiative process. In California, bonds usually get on the ballot by legislative action. However, sometimes the legislature isn't able to get enough consensus to get an item on the ballot. Thus, generally, I'd be against a bond by initiative. However, in this case, the cause is a good one: $980 million for children's hospitals.

The SD Union-Tribune and Sacramento Bee came out against it mainly because of the current budget mess in California.

Here is an excerpt from the SDUT:

California has a structural deficit of at least $6 billion a year. Not when the state is already on track by 2011 to spend more than 6 percent of its budget just paying off past bonds – much higher than is prudent and far above most of the other 49 states.

Unfortunately, bond propositions often sail to victory based on advertising campaigns that make it seem like they have no downside. Instead, voters should think of these bonds as the equivalent of the state's mortgage. California can barely make its payments now. Making those payments even bigger just doesn't make sense.

The SF Chron, SJ Mercury and LA Times have come out in favor of this bond.

The SF Chronicle summed up its decision to support it this way:

The hospitals are coming back to voters on Nov. 4 with Proposition 3, an initiative that asks for an additional $980 million in general-obligation bonds to complete the work that began with the passage of Proposition 61. The proponents of Prop. 3 make a compelling case that an escalation in construction costs and a surge in the number of Medi-Cal patients have combined to make it impossible to finish the projects that are in the planning or construction stage.

I'll be voting yes on prop 3.

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