Donors Pour Record $450 Million into California Initiatives

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — Records show contributions for and against the 17 measures on California’s November ballot have hit $450 million, breaking previous campaign spending records.

The new spending totals were reflected in campaign finance reports filed Thursday.

The total exceeds California’s own previous record for spending on proposition campaigns appearing on ballots in a single year,

A total of $438 million was spent for and against 21 California ballot measures in 2008.

No other state came close to those amounts.

California is one of few states that empower voters to enact laws affecting the state budget and taxes.

Measures that would limit how much the state’s health care program for the poor spends on drugs and to raise cigarette taxes by $2 per pack are among those attracting the most spending.