California Voters Approve Bond Measure To Fund Children’s Hospitals
California residents on Tuesday voted to pass Proposition 61, an initiative that would authorize the state to issue $750 million in bonds for construction, expansion and renovation of state children's hospitals, the Los Angeles Times reports (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 11/3). With all precincts reporting, 58.1% of state residents voted in favor of the measure, and 41.9% opposed it (Secretary of State Web site).
The money, which would be repaid from the state general fund, would go to 13 hospitals around the state.
The measure's supporters said that "financial pressures make it tough for children's hospitals to provide the latest technology and enough beds to treat children with such serious illnesses as leukemia, heart defects, sickle-cell anemia and cystic fibrosis," while also providing care for low-income and uninsured patients, the Contra Costa Times reports (Contra Costa Times, 11/3). Supporters spent more than $4 million to promote the initiative (Mendel, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/3).
Proposition 61 opponents said the measure would contribute to the state's "high debt" and "take money from other services," the Contra Costa Times reports (Contra Costa Times, 11/3). Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) opposed the measure (Los Angeles Times, 11/3).
According to the San Jose Mercury News, some health policy experts said voters approved Proposition 61 because it addressed an issue "with which people could readily identify" (Landhuis, San Jose Mercury News, 11/3).
Additional information of Proposition 61 is available online.