California Proposition 84, Bonds for Flood Control and Water Supply Improvements (2006)
Proposition 84 authorized the State of California to sell $5.4 billion in general obligation bonds for water and flood control projects.
Text of measure
The ballot title was:
The question on the ballot was:
- "Should the state issue $5.4 billion in general obligation bonds for a wide variety of projects related to water safety, rivers, beaches, levees, watersheds, and parks and forests?"
The official summary provided to describe Proposition 84 said:
- Funds projects relating to safe drinking water, water quality and supply, flood control, waterway and natural resource protection, water pollution and contamination control, state and local park improvements, public access to natural resources, and water conservation efforts.
- Provides funding for emergency drinking water, and exempts such expenditures from public contract and procurement requirements to ensure immediate action for public safety.
- Authorizes $5,388,000,000 in general obligation bonds to fund projects and expenditures, to be repaid from the state’s General Fund.
- See also: Fiscal impact statement
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- State cost of about $10.5 billion over 30 years to pay off both the principal ($5.4 billion) and interest ($5.1 billion) costs on the bonds. Payments of about $350 million per year.
- Reduction in local property tax revenues of several million dollars annually.
- Unknown costs, potentially tens of millions of dollars per year, to state and local governments to operate or maintain properties or projects acquired or developed with these bond funds.
The official voter guide arguments in favor of Proposition 84 were signed by:
- Mark Burget, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy
- Larry Wilson, chair, Board of Directors, Santa Clara Valley Water District
- E. Richard Brown, Professor, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles
- Erich Pfuehler, California Director, Clean Water Action
- Jeff Kightlinger, General Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
- Kaitilin Gaffney, Conservation Director, Ocean Conservancy
Arguments in favor
- Ensures safe drinking water
- Cleans up beaches and benefits wildlife
- Will not raise taxes
$11,436,826 was contributed to the campaign for a "yes" vote on Proposition 84.
Donors of $100,000 or more included:
|The Nature Conservancy||$3,586,582|
|California Conservation Action Fund||$1,514,054|
|Claire E. Perry||$500,000|
|National Audubon Society||$150,000|
|Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation||$150,000|
|Big Sur Land Trust Acquisition Fund||$100,000|
|Marin Agricultural Land Trust||$100,000|
|Natural History Museum Foundation of Los Angeles||$100,000|
|Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians||$100,000|
The official voter guide arguments opposing Proposition 84 were signed by:
- Bill Leonard, Member, California State Board of Equalization
- Ron Nehring, Senior Consultant, Americans for Tax Reform
- Lewis K. Uhler, president, National Tax Limitation Committee
- "It will not benefit everyone, but everyone will pay for it through higher taxes or budget cuts for education, law enforcement, and health services."
- "Proposition 84 gives state bureaucrats the power to spend your money without effective oversight. This proposal eliminates protections against corruption and favoritism in current law and it bypasses our competitive bidding system. It prevents audits by the State Controller, the State Auditor, and even the Legislative Analyst. It exempts itself from the Administrative Procedures Act. Ask yourself why the proponents fear routine audits."
- "This water bond does not contain ANY funds for new reservoirs, aqueducts, or water storage! The water diversions mandated by this bond will actually take away drinking water from current sources."
- "Bond funds can be awarded to the same private organizations that placed this initiative on the ballot, campaigned for it, and bought advertising to promote it. This is a perversion of the initiative process."
- "Flood control is vital, but less than 15% of bond funds are dedicated to that purpose—and that money could be chewed up for studies, environmental planning, environmental mitigation, and bureaucratic administration. If bureaucratic reports could stop flooding, we’d no longer have a problem."
$30,000 was contributed to the campaign for a "no" vote on Proposition 84 by the group "Citizens for Responsible Elections."
Path to the ballot
- See also: California signature requirements
As an initiated state statute, 373,816 valid signatures were required to qualify Proposition 84 for the ballot.
- Official California Voter Pamphlet information about Proposition 84
- PDF of the mailed November 7, 2006 voter guide for Proposition 84
- Proposition 84 in the Smart Voter Guide (dead link)
- Analysis of Proposition 84 (dead link) from the Institute of Governmental Studies
- Guide to Proposition 84 from the California Voter Foundation
- Summary of donors to and against 84 from Cal-Access
- Donors for and against Proposition 84 from Follow The Money
- Official declaration of the November 7, 2006 results on ballot propositions
- Lewis Uhler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Promoting water interests at taxpayers' expense," October 27, 2006