Tuesday, October 21, 2008
TBG's Election Guide: Proposition 3
Proposition 3, or the Children's Hospital Bond Act authorizes $980,000,000 in bonds, to be repaid from state's General Fund, to fund the construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing and equipping of children's hospitals. The annual payment on the debt authorized by the initiative would be about $64 million a year. Altogether, the measure would cost about $1.9 billion over 30 years out of California's general fund.
At first glance, my fiscally conservative "proposition with a dollar sign" distaste is in conflict with That Bootleg Family's firsthand experience with the Mary Birch Hospital's phenomenal neo-natal intensive care unit and the five weeks our preemie son spent there in 2004.
Digging a little deeper, the language in Prop. 3 makes it clear that the proposed monies would NOT be limited to children's hospitals. I, dear reader, am as shocked as you that politicos would use the word "children" to curry favor amongst the unwashed masses.
There's also the little matter of Proposition 61, which California passed in 2004. It was similarly earmarked for hospital upgrades – both architectural and technological – to the tune of $750,000,000 and multiple published reports indicate that only half of those monies have been spent.
TBG Votes: No. Prop. 3 is an obvious end-run around California's increasingly ill economy. The predictive financial models from five years ago were instantly obsolete when Prop. 61 passed and the two-billion-dollar "do-over" that is Prop. 3 appears poised to sucker my home state again.