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California Proposition 80, Construction Bonds for New Prisons (1988)

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California Proposition 80 was on the November 8, 1988 statewide ballot in California as a legislatively-referred bond act, where it was approved.

Proposition 80 authorized a bond issue of $817 million to provide funds to expand capacity in the California prison system, including county jails and Youth Authority facilities.

Election results

Proposition 80
Approveda Yes 5,591,465 61.11%

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

New Prison Construction Bond Act of 1988.


The official summary said:

"This act provides for a bond issue of eight hundred seventeen million dollars ($817,000,000) to provide urgently needed funds to relieve overcrowding in the state's prisons, county jails, and Youth Authority facilities through new construction."

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

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 authorized bonds were sold at an interest rate of 7.5 percent, the cost would be about $1.5 billion to pay off the principal ($817 million) and interest (about $650 million). The average payment would be about $70 million per year.
  • Borrowing Costs for Other Bonds. By increasing the amount which the state borrows, this measure may cause the state and local governments to pay more under other bond programs. These costs cannot be estimated.
  • State Revenues. The people who buy these bonds are not required to pay state income tax on the interest they earn. Therefore, if California taxpayers buy these bonds instead of making taxable investments, the state would collect less taxes. This loss of revenue cannot be estimated.

Path to the ballot

The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 80 on the ballot with Senate Bill 468 (Statutes of 1988, Ch. 43), as amended by SB 406 (Statutes of 1988, Ch. 386).

Votes in legislature to refer to ballot
Chamber Ayes Noes
Assembly 66 1
Senate 33 0

External links

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