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A Few Words on Proposition 1A

posted October 7, 1998

If approved by California voters Nov. 3, Proposition 1A would provide the Berkeley campus with more than $75 million to strengthen and repair buildings vulnerable to serious damage in a major earthquake.

Called the Class Size Reduction Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 1998, Prop. 1A authorizes the state to sell a total of $9.2 billion in general obligation bonds over four years to improve facilities throughout the state's public education system. Funds would be divided among public K-12 schools, the University of California, California State University and California community colleges.

About 95 percent of UC's state-funded capital budget for this fiscal year depends upon approval of this bond.

Benefits to UC Berkeley

According to a recent study, if a major earthquake occurred on the Hayward Fault, which runs through the heart of campus, nearly one in three buildings could present a threat to life safety. An even higher percentage of buildings would, in all likelihood, be rendered inoperable.

This bond will help make the campus a safer place even if a major earthquake strikes.

LeConte Hall, housing a large lecture hall and many teaching and research labs for the Department of Physics, would receive one of the larger portions of the bond proceeds. Built in 1923, LeConte is the site of the world's first atom smasher and former home to six Nobel physicists.

Other critical projects that would benefit from the bond include Wurster Hall, which houses the College of Environmental Design; Barker Hall, with its numerous cell and molecular biology labs; and the Archaeological Research Facility.

Berkeley has more older buildings than any of the other UC campuses. Passage of the bond would allow the most urgent projects to be completed and others to rise to the top of the list.

Supporters and Opponents

Prop. 1A has broad-based support from organizations and associations including the UC Board of Regents, California Taxpayers' Association, California Chamber of Commerce, California Professional Firefighters and the Congress of California Seniors.

Its opponents include People's Advocate, Inc., the National Tax Limitation Committee and Assemblyman Tom McClintock, who maintain that the measure is too large and will obligate too much of the state budget for debt service.

The full text of the proposition, as well as arguments in favor and against, can be found online in the Proposition 1A section of the 1998 California General Election Voter Information Guide.

For more information call Government Affairs at 642-7016.


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