California Proposition 12, Bonds for Veterans (2008)
- 1 Election results
- 2 Text of measure
- 3 History of veterans' bonds in California
- 4 Support
- 5 Opposition
- 6 Editorial opinion
- 7 Path to the ballot
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Proposition 12 was also known as the Veterans' Bond Act of 2008. Its primary legislative sponsor was Senator Mark Wyland, R-Carlsbad.
Proposition 12 authorized issuance of $900 million in bonds to create a fund to assist veterans who are purchasing farms, homes and mobile home properties.
Proposition 12 received a majority of the votes in each of California's 58 counties.
|California Proposition 12|
Turnout: 79.4% of registered
Text of measure
The ballot title was:
The official summary provided to describe Proposition 12 said:
- This act provides for a bond issue of nine hundred million dollars ($900,000,000) to provide loans to California veterans to purchase farms and homes.
- Appropriates money from the state General Fund to pay off the bonds, if loan payments from participating veterans are insufficient for that purpose.
- See also: Fiscal impact statement
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- Costs of about $1.8 billion to pay off both the principal ($900 million) and interest ($856 million) on the bonds; costs paid by participating veterans.
- Average payment for principal and interest of about $59 million per year for 30 years.
History of veterans' bonds in California
California began the veterans' home loan programs in the 1922. California voters have subsequently been asked 26 times to fund the program and have voted "yes" all 26 times, for a total of $8.4 billion in the past. The 2008 effort is the 27th time voters will have been asked to support the program. Proposition 12's request for $900 million is the largest request for a Cal-Vet bond.
Arguments in favor
Notable arguments made in support of the measure included:
- The Veterans Bond Act will help California's veterans achieve the American dream of homeownership.
- Veterans who risked their lives in places like Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan will be eligible to join the more than 420,000 others who have bought a home with a CalVet loan
- Loans are repaid, along with all program costs, by the loan holders at no expense to the taxpayers
- There have never been any costs to the taxpayers under the previous authorizations
- The program helps reinforce the housing market in California
- Cal Vet loans generate thousands of housing industry-related jobs resulting in millions of dollars in annual payrolls.
A campaign committee was established to campaign for a "yes" vote on Proposition 12, but it reported no contributions or expenditures.
- Gary Wesley
- The Libertarian Party of California
Notable arguments made in opposition included:
- Voters may wish to end the program rather then continue it
- Benefits are not limited to only veterans who served in a combat zone but to any that served during a time of war, possibly resulting in unavailable funds for those who actually served in harm's way
- Eligible beneficiaries of the program may have never even left the United States
- The interest on the bonds is federal and state tax free, which in a roundabout way means all taxpayers are paying some costs
- State taxpayers will be liable for any shortfall in the event beneficiaries fail to make payments and are unable to sell the home for full value
- The state government should not be in the business of providing loans
No campaign committee was established to campaign against Proposition 12.
"Yes on 12"
These newspapers editorialized in favor of a "yes" vote on Proposition 12:
- The Bay Area Reporter
- Contra Costa Times
- The Los Angeles Times
- Oakland Tribune
- Riverside Press-Enterprise
- San Francisco Bay Guardian
- San Francisco Chronicle
- San Jose Mercury News
- Santa Rosa Press Democrat
"No on 12"
These newspapers editorialized in favor of a "no" vote on Proposition 12:
Path to the ballot
The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 12 on the ballot via Senate Bill 1572 of the 2007–2008 Regular Session (Chapter 122, Statutes of 2008).
|Votes in legislature to refer to ballot|
- Official Voter's Guide to Proposition 12
- PDF of the mailed November 4, 2008 voter guide for Proposition 12
- November 4, 2008 ballot proposition election returns (dead link)
- Proposition 12 in the Smart Voter Guide
- Analysis of Proposition 12 (dead link) from the Institute of Governmental Studies
- Guide to Proposition 12 from the California Voter Foundation
- Summary of donors to and against Proposition 12 from Cal-Access
- Donors for and against Proposition 12 from Follow The Money
- Official election results (dead link)
- KCBS: "Veterans Bond Act Placed On State Ballot," July 15, 2008
- Sacramento Bee: "Proposition 12: Veterans Bond Act of 2008," September 17, 2008
- Proposition 12 Quick Reference (dead link)
- California Prop 12, arguments pro and con (dead link)
- Institute for Governmental Studies, "November 2008 endorsements" (dead link)
- Los Angeles Times: "Yes on California bonds; Bullet trains, children's healthcare and veterans' housing all deserve support," October 2, 2008