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.
Friday, July 15 is the last day for policy committees to hear and refer bills to fiscal committees. This is a key deadline because bills that are held in policy committees are effectively dead for this year, and bills that are approved and move onto the fiscal committees can continue to move through the legislative process. Below are status updates on bills of concern to the organization that CASH advocates have been actively engaged on. Thematically, these bills reflect two issue areas that have dominated school facility legislation this year – local bond accountability and transparency, and the lead content of water in schools. CASH is pleased to have helped improve some bills and helped block others that could not be improved. The Legislature convenes summer recess on Friday, July 21 and returns on Monday, August 21to finish its business for 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 →
On Monday, June 27, 2016, the Governor signed SB 826, the 2016-17 Budget Act, and a number of trailer bills to implement policy changes in the budget. For the first time since the 1980’s, the Governor did not exercise his line-item veto authority to reduce or eliminate any of the budget appropriations passed by the Legislature.
The budget includes $122.5 billion in General Fund expenditures, $51.6 billion of which is slated for K-12 education programs. The budget prioritizes preparing for the next economic downturn, one of the Governor’s top priorities, by placing an extra $2 billion into the state’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the total fund balance to $6.7 billion. The budget also addresses one of the Legislature’s top priorities by including $400 million for affordable housing, tied to future regulatory reform, and authorizing development of a $2 billion bond program to address homelessness for individuals with mental health needs. Details of this program are still being negotiated.
On Friday, May 13, 2016, the Governor released his 2016-17 May Revision. We are currently reviewing the details concerning school facilities. In the press conference, the Governor was asked if he opposed the State School Bond, Governor Brown stated that he did not support or oppose the measure, and could deal with its costs if it was approved. This is consistent with his January 2016 statements concerning his position on the State School Bond.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
1001 I Street-CalEPA Building Byron Sher Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814
The Living Schoolyards for Stormwater Management seminar will explore opportunities to enhance school grounds while improving the way we manage our stormwater. The coupling of green schoolyards with stormwater management can improve urban ecological systems while enhancing water quality and supply. As California continues to navigate the impacts of drought, we must recognize that stormwater is a resource and California schools play a role in our response. This event is free to attend and will also be available for webcast.
For more information regarding the event and how to register, please click here!