UC Davis Children's Hospital
Proposition 3 would give children’s hospitals almost $1 billion in bond money for what supporters call much needed capital improvements. But, critics say in this economic crisis the state can’t afford anymore debt.
If Prop. 3 passes, the state would sell $980 million in bonds. That money would likely go to eight not-for-profit children’s hospitals across the state and five University of California Children’s Hospitals. They could use the funds for expansion and improvements to their facilities.
One of those children’s hospitals is at UC Davis. Medical director Dr. Anthony Phillips says $40 million in Prop. 3 funds would help finish building a new pediatric intensive care unit.
“You can see here it’s very crowded, it’s not private at all, it’s very noisy and it’s also very hard to keep clean. These are some of the things that we really need to change for any kind of a modern intensive care unit.”
Several hospitals benefited from a similar bond measure back in 2004. Here at UC Davis they used the money to expand intensive care units.
But the president of the California Children’s Hospital Association, Diana Dooley, says that money wasn’t enough.
“Children’s hospitals take care of the most seriously ill and injured children. The pediatric population is growing but the space to take care of them isn’t.”
Some fiscal conservatives say children’s hospitals should get in line with other groups at the Capitol asking for money. Or look to private donors.
“And it’s not because we don’t like children.”
Lew Uhler is with the National Tax Limitation Committee. He says he’s against Prop. 3 because it abuses an initiative process meant for the general public, not special interests. And, Uhler says the state is too far in the red as it is.
“Let’s face it, with the budget problems that we already have that are growing daily, to add more debt on the backs of California tax payers at this time is wholly irresponsible.”
With a dozen measures on the ballot this November voters will see about 17 billion dollars in bond proposals. A recent Field Poll shows 47 percent support Prop. 3 with 18 percent of voters undecided.