- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - California voters are considering whether to authorize $9 billion in state bonds for school and community college construction projects in Tuesday’s election.

Proponents say Proposition 51 is needed for new buildings and renovations, while opponents argue the state could not afford the estimated $500 million it would cost each year to pay off the bonds. They say reform is needed in how school construction projects are funded.

The measure is backed by a coalition funded by two developer organizations that has received more than $9 million in contributions since January, as well as the California PTA and dozens of school districts, labor and business associations.

It would authorize $6 billion in general obligation bonds for building new K-12 schools and renovating older ones, as well as $1 billion for charters and vocational schools and $2 billion for community colleges. Principal and interest payments would be paid off over 35 years and cost a total of $17.6 billion if sold at an average 5 percent interest rate.

Notable opponents included Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat who called the proposition “the developers’ $9 billion bond” in an interview with The Los Angeles Times.


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