Bond Measure To Fund Children’s Hospitals, Other Ballot Measures Receive Limited Public Attention
Proposition 61, a bond measure on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot that would provide funding for children's hospitals, and three other initiatives have "received so little attention that no recent public polls have been conducted to gauge their chances of success," the Los Angeles Times reports (Slater, Los Angeles Times, 10/22). Proposition 61 would provide $750 million to pay for construction, expansion and equipment for children's hospitals. Including interest, the measure would cost about $1.5 billion over 30 years (California Healthline, 10/18).
According to the Times, opponents of the measure "agree that children's hospitals and other medical facilities in the state are struggling" but say that "issuing bonds is not the way to address health care needs and that the proposition would not regulate how the money would be spent."
Darry Sragow, a Democratic political consultant, said, "You could argue that [the four ballot measures are] not receiving much press coverage this year because we're in a presidential cycle, not a gubernatorial cycle -- when gubernatorial candidates would be forced to take a position on them and comment on them." He added, "And in addition to the better funded propositions, they are lost compared with news in Iraq and the close presidential contest" (Los Angeles Times, 10/22).
Summaries of an opinion piece and an editorial addressing Proposition 61 appear below.
- Susan Maddox, Sacramento Bee: Proposition 61 is "a modest proposal to ensure the long-term health of our children," Maddox, president and CEO of the California Children's Hospital Association, writes in a Bee opinion piece. According to Maddox, "voters have overwhelmingly supported $25 billion in school bonds," and Proposition 61 has the "same goal" of "enhancing the quality of life for our kids." Maddox concludes that voting "yes" on Proposition 61 is the "right choice for our children" (Maddox, Sacramento Bee, 10/20).
- Riverside Press-Enterprise: Proposition 61 "would be a reasonable step toward meeting" the demands of "a growing population" that strains children's hospitals, a Press-Enterprise editorial states. However, Proposition 71 -- a measure that would fund stem cell research through the purchase of bonds -- "violates a basic guideline for state borrowing," the editorial continues. Proposition 61 "uses the state's borrowing capacity the way it was intended: to improve critical facilities," the Press-Enterprise writes. The Press-Enterprise recommends that state residents vote "yes" on Proposition 61 and "no" on Proposition 71 (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/19).