June 9, 2017
I am pleased to provide this update to CASH members on state legislative actions with regard to the Proposition 39 program. We are active on two pathways – legislative and through the budget process – for an extension of the program’s encumbrance deadline date so that local education agencies (LEAs) may fully use their allocations knowing what the fifth year of allocation will be. There is also state action on a program extension beyond the five years that California’s voters approved in November 2012.
Legislation – SB 518 (de Leon)
The Leader of the Senate, President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon is the author of legislation to extend the Proposition 39 program and directs any funding remaining in the fund by a date certain to be used for clean energy buses in needy communities with bad air quality as determined by the Air Resources Board.
After the bus allocation of $75 million, another $100 million is to be added for low and no-interest loans to schools under the Energy Conservation and Assistance Act (ECAA). Funds remaining after the two uses above will be available to K-12 school districts, charters, county offices of education and charter schools by application within four tier levels based on average daily attendance (ADA) data.
The bill also:
- Sets encumbrance date for the Proposition 39 Program’s five years of funding at 3/31/19 and sweeps unused funding on 3/1/18 for the purposes outlined above.
- Removes the Proposition 39 Program’s sunset going forward – to be allocated in the annual budget process.
We have held productive conversations about the timelines in SB 518, as we have concerns that the “sweeping” date would leave schools with no additional time beyond the current August 1, 2017 CEC deadline for submission of final energy expenditure plans (EEP).
If they are planning to use their fifth-year allocations, LEAs should be moving forward to submit plans to the CEC by that date (see more info on the EEP deadline below).
Senate Pro Tem de Leon’s Proposition 39 legislation is progressing and has moved off Suspense and was approved on the floor of the Senate. SB 518 is now moving to Assembly for assignment to a policy committee.
State Budget and Proposition 39 Program
We testified at and communicated with State Budget Subcommittee hearings in both the Assembly and the Senate on Proposition 39 and both Houses have included a Prop 39 extension in their Budget proposals that are now being discussed in Budget Conference Committee.
The Assembly has recommended an extension to June 30, 2019 – a full year extension – if this were to occur, we believe that the CEC will set their EEP final deadline date more in line with what LEAs originally anticipated for the full years – at or around June 30, 2018.
The Senate’s budget proposal aligns with the SB 518, the Senate Pro Tem’s legislation, and includes the March 1, 2018 sweeping date for use by K-12 schools, clean buses, loans and the extension of the program indefinitely – and the March 31, 2019 encumbrance date.
A CASH letter has been sent to the members of the Legislative Budget Conference Committee asking for the Assembly deadline date and the extension of the program as proposed in Senate. Stay Tuned.
CEC Advice for Schools
At School Energy Coalition (SEC) Forums held last month, the CEC shared some advice with us about those final EEPs – LEAs should include all school sites that may be potentially considered for projects in your plan – even if you are unsure of the funding that may be available – because the system the agency uses won’t allow amendments to add sites later.
They also shared that there are about one million dollars remaining in CEC’s Bright Schools and technical assistance; low and no-interest loans for energy efficiency projects funded under the ECAA.
CASH/SEC Zero-Net Energy Workshop: June 27 and 29
SEC is pleased to be co-sponsoring the June Workshop with CASH on moving schools to zero-net energy. The Workshops will be held on June 27th in Sacramento and June 29th in Ontario. Click here to register online.
We will be sharing information on how to get to ZNE on a school site or district – from the planning and decision-making process, ZNE and CHPS, financing and case studies from schools that are making the move now to generate savings and provide healthy classrooms for teachers and students that improve academic performance, teacher retention along with utility bill savings.
Please contact me with comments or questions on energy, water, or Prop 39! firstname.lastname@example.org
~ Anna Ferrera