EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW: BALLOT MEASURE 4

4: Children’s Hospital Bond

What it would do:

Give the state permission to borrow $1.5 billion to fund renovations, expansions, and upgrades at hospitals that treat children. Most of the funding is reserved for the state’s eight private non-profit children’s hospitals ($1.08 billion) and the five hospitals run through one of the University of California campuses ($270 million).

What it would cost the government:

According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the state’s nonpartisan budgetary scorekeeper, paying back the bond with interest will run the state government an extra $80 million annually for the next 35 years on average. This is roughly equivalent to six ten-thousandths of the state’s current general fund—or what the state Legislature spent on its legal department this year. The total cost of the bond is expected to be $2.9 billion.

Why it is on the ballot:

The California Children’s Hospital Association regularly turns to the taxpayer for help. In 2004, voters backed a $750-million bond to fund similar infrastructure investments. Four years later, they approved another $980-million in borrowing. This year’s proposal looks pretty similar—only bigger.

Story Credit and Breakdown of Propositions: CalMatters.Org