California Proposition 12, Bonds for Veterans (2008)

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Proposition 12 was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in California as a legislatively-referred bond act, where it was approved.[1]

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.[2]

Election results

Proposition 12 received a majority of the votes in each of California's 58 counties.

California Proposition 12
Approveda Yes 7,807,630 63.6%

Turnout: 79.4% of registered

Results from the California Secretary of State (dead link)'

Text of measure

Prop 12 2008.PNG


The ballot title was:

Veterans' Bond Act of 2008.


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.

Fiscal impact

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

Logo of the Cal Vet loans program

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.[3]



Supporters included:

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.



Opponents included:

  • Gary Wesley
  • The Libertarian Party of California

Arguments against

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[4][5]
  • The state government should not be in the business of providing loans


No campaign committee was established to campaign against Proposition 12.

Editorial opinion

2008 propositions
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February 5
Proposition 91Proposition 92
Proposition 93Proposition 94
Proposition 95Proposition 96
Proposition 97
June 3
Proposition 98Proposition 99
November 4
Proposition 1AProposition 2
Proposition 3Proposition 4
Proposition 5Proposition 6
Proposition 7Proposition 8
Proposition 9Proposition 10
Proposition 11Proposition 12
Local measures

"Yes on 12"

These newspapers editorialized in favor of a "yes" vote on Proposition 12:

"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
Chamber Ayes Noes
Assembly 75 0
Senate 39 0

External links

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