A coalition of nonprofit children’s hospitals has succeeded in placing a $980 million bond measure in front of California voters in November.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Friday that the measure has qualified for the ballot.

If voters approve the measure, the state government will issue the general obligation bonds to finance grants to children’s hospitals. Some of the money will go to University of California hospitals, but a large share of it will go to 501(c)3 nonprofits.

In campaign finance filings, the coalition of hospitals reported spending almost $1.1 million for paid petition gatherers to collect the 433,971 valid voters’ signatures needed to qualify the measure.

The measure qualified when 469,967 of the 684,892 signatures submitted were determined to be valid after a full check of signatures, according to the secretary of state’s office. The measure initially failed to qualify through the random sample signature check.

The new measure is patterned after a 2004 ballot measure, also submitted to the voters after a paid petition campaign, in which the state’s voters authorized $750 million in GO bonds for children’s hospitals.

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