California Proposition 79, Construction Bonds for Public Schools (1988)

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California Proposition 79 was on the November 8, 1988 statewide ballot in California as a legislatively-referred bond act, where it was approved.

Proposition 79 authorized a bond issue of $800 million to provide capital outlay for construction or improvement of public schools.

Election results

Proposition 79
Approveda Yes 5,651,376 61.23%

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

1988 School Facilities Bond Act.


The official summary said:

"This act provides for a bond issue of eight hundred million dollars ($800,000,000) to provide capital outlay for construction or improvement of public schools."

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

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

  • This measure will have a fiscal effect whether it is approved or rejected by the voters.

A. Fiscal Effect if Approved by the Voters

  • 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 were sold at an interest rate of 7.5 percent, the cost would be about $1.4 billion to pay off both the principal ($800 million) and interest (about $630 million). The average payment for principal and interest 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.

B. Fiscal Effect if Not Approved by the Voters

  • Local Matching Contribution Would Be Eliminated. If this measure is not approved by the voters, existing law provides for termination of the requirement that matching contributions be made by school districts participating in the State School Building Lease-Purchase Program. The loss of local matching funds would result either in (1) fewer schools being constructed under this program, or (2) potential, unknown additional state cost to replace the local matching funds, if the same level of school construction is maintained.

Path to the ballot

The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 79 on the ballot with Senate Bill 22 (Statutes of 1988, Ch. 42).

Votes in legislature to refer to ballot
Chamber Ayes Noes
Assembly 70 1
Senate 33 0

External links

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