California Proposition 144, New Prison Construction Bond Act (1990)

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California Proposition 144, or the New Prison Construction Bond Act of 1990, was on the November 6, 1990 ballot in California as a legislatively-referred bond act, where it was defeated.

If Proposition 144 had been approved, it would have authorized the issuance of $450 million in general obligation bonds to finance construction of new prisons.

Election results

Proposition 144
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No4,239,09159.62%
Yes 2,871,183 40.38%

Fiscal impact

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 rate of 7.5 percent, the cost would be about $805 million to pay off the principal ($450 million) and interest ($355 million). The average annual payment would be about $34 million per year.

Cost to Operate New Prisons.

The state will incur additional costs to operate new prisons constructed with these bond funds. These additional costs are unknown, but could be in the tens of millions of dollars annually.

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