California Proposition 3, Childrens' Hospitals Bond Act (2008)

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Proposition 3, or the Children's Hospital Bond Act, was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was approved.

The campaign to enact the measure was supported by hospitals--all donors to the campaign of over $5,000 were hospitals.[1][2]

Proposition 3 authorized $980 million in bonds, to be repaid from state’s General Fund, to fund the construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing and equipping of children’s hospitals. The annual payment on the debt authorized by the initiative will be about $64 million a year. Altogether, the measure will cost about $1.9 billion over 30 years out of California's general fund.[3]

A smaller, but similar, bond measure for hospitals, Proposition 61, was approved by voters in 2004.

Election results

California Proposition 3
Approveda Yes 6,984,319 55.3%

Turnout: 79.4% of registered

Final results from the California Secretary of State

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Children's Hospital Bond Act. Grant Program. Initiative Statute.


The official summary provided to describe Proposition 3 said:

  • Authorizes $980,000,000 in bonds, to be repaid from state's General Fund, to fund the construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing and equipping of children's hospitals.
  • Designates that 80 percent of bond proceeds go to hospitals that focus on children with illnesses such as leukemia, cancer, heart defects, diabetes, sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis.
  • Requires that qualifying children's hospitals provide comprehensive services to a high volume of children eligible for governmental programs and meet other requirements.
  • Designates that 20 percent of bond proceeds go to University of California general acute care hospitals.

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

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

  • "State cost of about $2 billion over 30 years to pay off both the principal ($980 million) and the interest ($933 million) costs of the bonds. Payments of about $64 million per year."



The official committee supporting the CHBA was called the California Children's Hospital Association Initiative Fund.

Arguments in favor

Notable arguments made in support of the measure included:

  • Passing the initiative will help provide the hospitals with enough money for greater bed capacity and to purchase important equipment as well as the most modern technologies.[4]


$7,908,647 was contributed to the campaign in favor of a "yes" vote on Proposition 3.[5]

Donors of $100,000 or more were:

Donor Amount
Children's Hospital Los Angeles $1,471,682
Rady Children's Hospital San Diego $917,627
Miller Children's Hospital $907,221
Children's Hospital of Orange County $905,812
Children's Hospital Central California $910,510
Children's Hospital and Research Center at Oakland $899,131
Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford $899,131
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital $203,506

All donors to the campaign of over $5,000 were hospitals.[6]



The National Tax Limitation Committee, chaired by Lew Uhler, opposed Proposition 3, as did the California Green Party (dead link).

Arguments against

Notable arguments made in opposition included:

  • Proposition 3 is misuse of the public ballot system by special interests
  • The measure also allows money to go to hospitals that are not childrens hospitals.
  • These very same special interest groups initiated the passage of Proposition 61. Half of that money still remains unspent.
  • Debt from Propositions 3, and its interest, must be paid from the general fund. This means that there will be less for other important state programs.


See also Polls, 2008 ballot measures.
Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided
September 2008 Field 47 percent 35 percent 18 percent

A Field Poll taken in mid-September found that only 18% of 830 likely voters surveyed across the state had heard of Proposition 3 prior to being told of it by the survey interviewer.[7]

Editorial opinion

2008 propositions
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February 5
Proposition 91Proposition 92
Proposition 93Proposition 94
Proposition 95Proposition 96
Proposition 97
June 3
Proposition 98Proposition 99
November 4
Proposition 1AProposition 2
Proposition 3Proposition 4
Proposition 5Proposition 6
Proposition 7Proposition 8
Proposition 9Proposition 10
Proposition 11Proposition 12
Local measures

"Yes on 3"

"No on 3"

Path to the ballot

See also: California signature requirements

Arno Political Consultants was paid about $1,028,000 to conduct the petition drive that qualified the measure for the ballot. [15]

See also: California ballot initiative petition signature costs

External links

Suggest a link


Additional reading: