Costly Bond Bill-18  

Places $3.1 Billion Bond on 2018 Primary Ballot


Sacramento, California, Tuesday March 21, 2017____ Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) announced that Assembly Bill 18 passed off the Assembly floor, which seeks to place a $3.1 billion bond on the June 5, 2018 ballot. The funding for this bond almost entirely is dedicated to creating urban parks, providing minimal funding to rural California.  

“I am a passionate advocate for our state park system and have voted multiple times to increase its funding. Unfortunately, this bill does not take a pay-as-you-go approach but instead proposes to issue over $3 billion in new state bond debt to fund these parks.” Assemblyman Obernolte said. “We cannot continue to borrow money for pet projects while we waste billions of taxpayer dollars on other programs like high speed rail.”   

AB 18 proposes to place a $3.105 billion bond before voters next year. It provides only $40 million for rural recreation, which is a paltry 1.3% of the total money allocated in the bond.  Meanwhile, AB 18 earmarks $30 million to "pet projects" in the author's district, and $600 million for climate change resiliency projects and wildlife protection throughout the state.  This bill represents largely conservation interests that primarily benefit urban California, yet has been disguised as a "Pure Parks Bond."    

The Legislative Analyst’s Office reports that repayment of this debt will require not the $3 billion that was borrowed, but instead over $6 billion when interest and fees are included. If the Legislature were to alternatively adopt a pay-as-you-go approach, the state could build twice as many new parks as this bill proposes to build.   

“Continuing to add to our State’s long-term debt during a year when we are about to pass a record spending budget is irresponsible” Assemblyman Obernolte said. “Sacramento should eliminate waste and focus on saving for a future recession instead of increasing our debt, a debt that our children and grandchildren will be obligated to repay.”   

This bill still needs to pass the Senate with a 2/3 vote and be signed by the Governor to become law.


Assemblyman Jay Obernolte