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California Proposition 9, Prohibition on Use of Taxes, Bonds or Surcharges to Pay for Nuclear Power (1998)

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California Proposition 9 was on the November 3, 1998 election ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated.

Proposition 9 would have prohibited private electric utilities from charging customers for the transition costs for nuclear power plants. It would also have prohibited assessment of taxes, bonds, surcharges to pay costs of nuclear power plants, limited recovery by electric companies for the costs of non-nuclear power plants, and prohibited the issuance of rate reduction bonds.

Election results

Proposition 9
Defeatedd No5,711,88873.44%
Yes 2,065,674 26.56%

Of voters who cast a vote in this election, 843,559 or 9.78% did not cast a vote on Proposition 9.

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Electric Utilities. Assessments. Bonds. Initiative Statute.


The official ballot summary said:

  • Prohibits assessment of utility tax, bond payments or surcharges for payment of costs of nuclear power plants/related assets.
  • Limits authority of electric companies to recover costs for non-nuclear generation plants.
  • Prohibits issuance of rate reduction bonds and assessments on customers for payment of bond principal, interest, and related costs.
  • Provides judicial review of Public Utilities Commission decisions relating to electric restructuring and financing costs by writ of mandate.
  • May provide up to 20% electricity rate reduction for residential and small commercial customers of investor-owned utilities by January 1, 1999.
  • Restricts customer information dissemination.
Proposition 9.PNG

Fiscal impact

The California Legislative Analyst's Office provided an estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact for Proposition 9. That estimate was:

  • State government net revenue reductions potentially in the high tens of millions of dollars annually through 2001-02.
  • Local government net revenue reductions potentially in the tens of millions of dollars annually through 2001-02.
  • State and local government savings in utility costs, potentially in the tens of millions of dollars annually through 2001-02.

Campaign spending


Supporters of Proposition 9 spent $1,403,513. The top contributors to pass the measure were:

  • Public Media Center of San Francisco: $907,645
  • Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights: $265,908
  • The Network Project: $99,328
  • The Utility Reform Network (TURN): $69,812
  • Consumers Union of U.S. Inc.: $51,265
  • Peter Buckley: $25,000
  • Alida R. Messinger: $20,000
  • Strumwasser & Woocher: $10,555
  • Bonnie Raitt: $4,500
  • California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG): $2,700


Opponents of Proposition 9 spent $38,171,046. The top contributors against the measure were:

  • Edison International/Southern California Edison: $17,657,041
  • Pacific Gas & Electric: $17,392,850
  • Sempra Energy: $3,926,599
  • San Diego Gas & Electric: $320,000
  • Commonwealth Edison Co.: $250,000
  • Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc.: $250,000
  • Edison Electric Institute: $200,000
  • Californians for Clean Air, Yes on Proposition 7, A Project of the Planning and Conservation League: $110,000
  • Lehman Brothers, Inc.: $100,000
  • Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc.: $100,000

See also

External links