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Prop 84 has spent $2 billion on 2,174 local projects in California communities.

Special Project | 2016

Environmental Bonds Should Equitably Benefit All Communities: Looking Forward Based on an Analysis of Prop 84

In 2006, California voters approved Proposition 84, a bond measure authorizing $5.4 billion in spending on projects to improve parks, natural resource protection, and water quality, safety, and supply. Most of that money has now been spent. Where was the funding spent? Who benefited? And were funds spent according to the priorities stated in the measure approved by voters? Prop 84 is a good case study for examining these questions: the measure sought to ensure equitable distribution of bond funds by prioritizing investments in various sections. Some sections of the measure explicitly prioritized funding for disadvantaged communities, for example, including sections on parks and safe drinking water, while other sections more vaguely prioritized bond expenditures. And some sections did not prioritize investments in any specific manner, instead allocating funds to agencies in general categories. The results are telling.