Category Archives: Legal

December Facility Planners Update December 2017

December 1, 2017

The CASH Facility Planners Meeting Update for December 2017 is now available and includes information regarding:

  • Proposition 51 Update
  • Legislative Update
  • Newly Revised CASH Facility Inspection Tool (FIT) Guidebook Available
  • CASH 39th Annual Conference
  • CASH Maintenance Management Certification Program
  • School Facilities Leadership Academy

Click here to view the update.

~ CASH staff

Request for Signature Assembly Bill 203 (O’Donnell)

The Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) supported Assembly Bill 203 by Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell. This bill has passed the Legislature and is awaiting action by Governor Brown. AB 203 will help small districts and give school districts and design professionals more flexibility in designing school classrooms. AB 203 will help implement the Next Generation classrooms needed by students and teachers. It also provides the flexibility needed to implement the design research that helps increase academic achievement. Please write or e-mail Governor Brown and urge him to sign AB 203. The message can be short, such as:

Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA
95814

I am (identify yourself by profession) who urges you to sign Assembly Bill 203. This legislation will give school districts and design professionals the flexibility they need to design research based and energy efficient classrooms for students and teachers.

Thank you,

(your name)

Click Here to send your e-mail to the Governor.

Thank you for helping CASH.

~ CASH Staff

State Allocation Board Approves $443.6 Million in Projects on the Unfunded List

Today, September 6, 2017, the State Allocation Board (SAB) met to take action on School Facility Program (SFP) funding apportionments.  The Board approved this item which provides approximately $443.6 million in SFP apportionments for 135 projects from 70 school districts.  These are projects on the Unfunded List (Lack of AB 55 Loans) that have submitted priority funding requests and were eligible for apportionment.

CASH submitted a letter to the Board which raises an objection to the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) using 2012 grant amounts for the projects being apportioned in September 2017.  CASH believes that the traditional SAB policy of using the grant amounts at the time of apportionment should be retained, which ensures that hardship districts and districts that could not move projects forward and are awaiting state matching funds, will not face fiscal difficulties from construction cost escalation between the date of their application and the date of apportionment. The SAB chose to use the 2012 grant amounts, and CASH believes that school districts with projects on the September 6, 2017 SAB agenda should have the opportunity to appeal to the SAB if they believe they are being harmed.  This appeal process should be similar to the “do-no-harm” appeal policy adopted by the SAB when the Board adopted Option 1 at the June 5, 2017 Board meeting.

~ CASH Staff

CASH Legislative Update

The Senate Appropriations Committee held its final hearing of the year, and two bills of interest to CASH were approved.  The following is a brief summary of the bills and the Committee vote.

More detailed information to follow:

AB 203 (O’Donnell) – School Facility Program/Flexibility

Requires the California Department of Education to establish standard for use by school districts to ensure that the design and construction of school facilities are educationally appropriate and promote school safety.  The bill also requires the standards to ensure that the design and construction of school facilities provide school districts with flexibility in designing school facilities.  This bill was approved on a 7-0 vote.

AB 746 (Fletcher-Gonzalez) – Water/Lead Testing

Requires schools to test for lead in potable water systems at every school site within its jurisdiction at least once a year or once every three years depending on whether a building was constructed on or after January 1, 1993.  If the tests show elevated lead levels (15 parts per billion/United States Environmental Protection Agency Standard), the school must notify parents and guardians of the elevated level and provide information on lead developed by an agency with expertise in lead.  This bill was approved on a 7-0 vote.

~ CASH Staff

 

State Allocation Board Approves Career Technical Education Facilities Program & Bond Sale Information

Today the State Allocation Board met to hear and take action on a number of items, including three school district appeals and regulations to establish new funding cycles for the Career Technical Education Facilities Program (CTEFP).  An item proposing regulatory amendments to new construction application processing was originally agendized but subsequently pulled from consideration at today’s meeting.

Executive Officer Statement: Fall GO BondSale
During the Executive Officer statement, Lisa Silverman indicated that the fall General Obligation bond sale will take place on August 29, 2017.  The recent priority funding filing period closed on June 8, 2017, and the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) received requests for 139 projects from 73 districts worth a total of $443.6 million.  Ms. Silverman reported that she anticipates receiving bond proceeds from the August 29 sale to cover the projects that submitted a certification in the recent filing period.  She stated that the SAB meeting originally scheduled for September 23 has been moved up to September 6, 2017 to take action on the projects that submitted a certification in the recent priority funding round.

Continue reading

State Allocation Board Update

June 28, 2017

On Wednesday, June 28, the State Allocation Board (SAB) met to hear issues related to actions taken at their meeting on June 5, 2017 (approval of “Option 1”).  Specifically, under Action Items, the agenda included “Regulatory Amendments for Increased Program Accountability” and “Regulatory Amendments for the Financial Hardship Program.” Under Informational Items, the agenda included “School Facility Program Application Processing.”  The following is a summary of each agenda item. Continue reading

Governor Signs Budget

June 27, 2017

Today the Governor Signed AB 97, the budget bill for FY 2017-18, as well as the related trailer bills to enact policy changes in the budget. Below is an update on a number of key school facility policy issues that are addressed in budget trailer bills.

SB 96: Department of Industrial Relations

Makes changes to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) prevailing wage monitoring program, including:

  • Raises the threshold for the program’s applicability from $1,000 to $25,000 for construction projects and $15,000 for maintenance projects.
  • Increases penalties for contractors and subcontractors who fail to register correctly.
  • Creates new penalties for awarding bodies, including school districts, who would be subject to a fine of $100 per day, up to $10,000.
  • An awarding body determined to be a “willful violator” with two program violations within 12 months could lose state facility funding for one year.
  • Increases the annual contractor registration fee from $300 to $400 and permits a contractor to register for multiple years at a time.

The budget also includes $805,000 in 2017-18 and $759,000 in 2018-19 for positions to educate awarding bodies about their requirements under the law.

AB 111: DSA Filing Fee

Increases Division of the State Architect (DSA) project filing fees for construction or alteration of school buildings. The fee will increase from 0.7% to 1.25% for the first $1 million in construction costs, and from 0.6% to 1.0% for costs in excess of $1 million. If the balance in the Public School Planning, Design, and Construction Review Revolving Fund exceeds six months of expenditures, the fee will automatically decrease.

AB 99: School Facility Program Audits

Includes the School Facility Program (SFP) audit changes, adding state-funded school facility project scope to the local annual K-12 audit. CASH successfully lobbied for amendments to the bill to provide school districts with the flexibility to use capital funds or operational dollars to repay any expenditures deemed ineligible. The original proposal from the Administration would have required automatic payback of audit exceptions using a withholding from the next Proposition 98 apportionment. The new audit provisions apply to SFP projects funded on and after April 1, 2017.

AB 99 & AB 125: Proposition 39 – Encumbrance Date and Program Extension

Includes provisions related to the Proposition 39 energy efficiency program. The bill extends the encumbrance date for projects by 12 months to June 30, 2019. The Legislature is now considering an additional trailer bill that includes the provisions of SB 518 (De Leon) to extend the Proposition 39 program indefinitely. Identical language is reflected in both AB 125 and SB 110, and either bill could move forward. These bills extend the sunset on the Proposition 39 program indefinitely, though future funding is subject to an appropriation in the annual budget process. The bills would establish a new competitive grant framework for allocation of the dollars. The bills would also sweep remaining unallocated funds from the first five years of the program for projects that have not submitted an Energy Expenditure Plan (EEP) by March 1, 2018. These funds would be dispersed as follows:

  • $75 million for a school bus retrofit and replacement program to be administered by the California Energy Commission.
  • $100 million for low- and no-interest Energy Conservation Assistance Act (ECAA) loans.
  • The remainder would be used for competitive grants for K-12 schools in designated tiers.

Passage of AB 125 or SB 110 would make SB 518 obsolete. Budget trailer bills are urgency statutes that are effective immediately upon signature and require only a majority vote to pass, in contrast to a typical urgency bill, which requires a two-thirds vote. Trailer bills are not subject to the June 15 budget bill deadline. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, the author of SB 518, appears very interested in moving this issue through the legislative process via trailer bill.

~ CASH Staff

SAB Takes Action on Upfront Agreement & Beyond Bond Authority Project List

On Monday, June 5, 2017, the State Allocation Board (SAB) took action on two key policy issues that are critical to the implementation of Proposition 51: a) Regulatory Amendments for Increased Program Accountability (template for Upfront Grant Agreement); and, b) School Facility Program (SFP) Applications Received Beyond Bond Authority List (how to proceed with projects on the Acknowledged List). These proposals were originally scheduled to be adopted at the SAB meeting on April 24, 2017, but the action was deferred to a later date due to concerns with the draft prepared by the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC).

Fourteen CASH members testified during the hearing including Chair Don Ulrich (Clovis USD), Vice Chair Julie Arthur (Palm Springs USD), Immediate Past Chair Jenny Hannah (Kern HSD), and board members Rob Pierce (Elk Grove USD) and Alan Reising (Long Beach USD). The following is a summary of the actions that the SAB took on these agenda items:

Upfront Grant Agreement
The SAB voted to approve the Upfront Grant Agreement and conforming regulatory amendments, approved the projects on Attachment #5 for placement on the Unfunded List (Lack of AB 55 Loans), and exempted these projects from the Grant Agreement requirement. CASH and the education community had advocated for changes to the Grant Agreement, which were incorporated in this approval. These changes include:

  • Changes to the eligible expenditures list to expand eligibility of freezers, refrigerators, and exercise equipment.
  • The option of project-specific guidance letters incorporated by reference into the Grant Agreement – allows districts to achieve certainty on unusual project expenditures, ensuring auditors will allow.
  • The Grant Agreement is required at fund release, not as a condition of apportionment.
  • Projects on the True Unfunded List are exempt; the grant agreement still applies to all projects on the Acknowledged List.

The Grant Agreement as adopted includes a significant policy change by making educational technology, including computers and printers, an ineligible expenditure.

Beyond Bond Authority List
After extensive discussion and testimony from CASH board members and members of the education community, the SAB voted to approve “Option 1” which requires new construction projects on the Acknowledged List to re-justify their eligibility for the enrollment year in which the application was processed by OPSC, without losing their place in line. The biggest policy debate of the evening was whether schools should be required to update eligibility, or if projects would be processed with eligibility at the time of submittal. Projects that would no longer be eligible under updated eligibility have the right to submit an appeal to the SAB.

CASH would like to thank our members for their dedication and commitment to qualifying, approving, and now working to implement Proposition 51.

~ CASH Staff