California Proposition 150, County Courthouse Facilities Bond Act (1990)
If Proposition 150 had passed, it would have authorized the State of California to sell at $200 million bond, incurring that degree of debt, to pay for "the construction, reconstruction, remodeling, replacement, and deferred maintenance of county courthouse facilities."
Background and details
In California in 1990, the state's trial courts were operated by the counties. The trial court system includes the superior, municipal and justice courts. In the state's fiscal year 1990-1991 budget, it paid about $500 million to the 58 counties for the costs of salaries for judges in these trial courts, while the counties collectively paid another $600 million toward the costs of operating these courts, including the costs of maintaining facilities for the courts, such as county courthouses and other buildings.
Under the provisions of Proposition 150, what a county would have had to do to receive funds from the $200 million bond was:
- Provide matching funds equal to 25 percent of the project's cost (this requirement could be modified or waived by the Legislature).
- Maintain and report various statistics required by the state Judicial Council and develop a plan to reduce delay in transaction of trial court business.
- Show that it does not have adequate facilities to quickly and safely carry out court responsibilities.
- Show that to the greatest extent possible, it has used local funds for courthouse construction.
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- Direct Cost of Paying Off the Bonds. For these types of bonds, the state typically would make principal and interest payments from the state's General Fund over a period of about 20 years. If all of the bonds authorized by this measure are sold at an interest of 7.5 percent, the cost would be about $355 million to pay off the principal ($200 million) and interest ($155 million). The average payment would be about $15 million per year.
Path to the ballot
The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 150 on the ballot with Assembly Bill 2180 (Statutes of 1990, Ch. 921) in accordance with the provisions of Article XVI of the California Constitution.
- Hastings California I&R database
- Los Angeles Law Library, 1990 ballot propositions (dead link)
- November 1990 election results (pages 9-10)