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California Proposition 147, County Jails Bond Act (1990)

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California Proposition 147, or the County Correctional Facility Capital Expenditure and Juvenile Facility 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 147 had passed, it would have authorized the state to sell general obligation bonds of $225 million to "provide funds for the construction, reconstruction, remodeling, replacement, and deferred maintenance of county correctional facilities and county juvenile facilities."

Election results

Proposition 147
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No4,329,67862.72%
Yes 2,574,002 37.28%

Details of proposal

The money raised from the sale of the proposed $225 million bond would have gone to:

  • $150 million for construction, reconstruction, remodeling, deferred maintenance, and replacement of county correctional facilities.
  • $50 million for construction, reconstruction, remodeling, deferred maintenance, and replacement of county juvenile facilities.
  • $25 million for the purchase of equipment and for acquiring, renovating, or constructing youth centers or youth shelters.

In order for a county to receive bond money for jails or juvenile detention facilities, it would have been required to:

  • Provide matching funds equal to 25 percent of the project's costs (this requirement could be modified or waived by the Legislature),
  • Adopt a plan to prohibit the detention of juveniles in jails unless the county is permitted by law to keep them there,
  • Show that it has adequate facilities for mentally ill inmates and persons arrested because of intoxication, or that it has a plan to provide services to these persons, and
  • Show that it has made the greatest applicable use of alternatives to incarcerating persons in jail.

Counties would have been ineligible to receive funds if the voters or the board of supervisors in that county adopted a measure opposing the location or expansion of a state prison in the county.

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

  • Direct Costs 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 $400 million to pay off both the principal ($225 million) and interest (about $175 million). The average payment for principal and interest would be about $17 million per year.
  • Costs to Operate County Jails. Counties will incur increased costs to operate additional jail facilities constructed with these bond funds. These additional operating costs are unknown, but could be in the millions of dollars annually.

Path to the ballot

The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 147 on the ballot with Senate Bill 1094 (Statutes of 1990, Ch. 579) in accordance with the provisions of Article XVI of the California Constitution.

External links