May is one of the busiest months in Sacramento, with many policymakers and stakeholders focused on the budget process. Below is an update on a number of high priority budget and legislative issues for Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC).
May Revision Update
Today, the Governor released his May Revision update to the 2019-20 budget proposed in January. The May Revision incorporates the latest economic forecasts and updated revenue figures based on April tax receipts. The May Revision expects $3.2 billion in additional short-term revenues over the January proposal, but it also anticipates slower economic growth and mounting uncertainty, necessitating a prudent approach to the budget. The May Revision budget proposes $147 billion in General Fund expenditures, up from $144.2 billion in January.
Capital Outlay and School Bond
The May Revision does not propose an increase to the number of community college capital outlay projects funded in FY 2019-20. The January budget proposed to fund 12 new capital outlay projects and 15 continuing projects authorized in prior fiscal years. The Department of Finance administratively updated this request in April to add three additional projects, for a total of 15 new capital outlay projects in the 2019-20 budget.
On April 23, 2019, Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance acted to approve all 39 new projects and 19 continuing projects recommended by the Board of Governors (BOG) for FY 2019-20. Next steps will be for the Senate to act on the proposal, and for legislative leadership and the Governor to negotiate a final decision regarding which projects to include in the final budget. The Legislature must pass a budget by the constitutional deadline of June 15. CCFC is urging the Legislature and Administration to fund all of the projects recommended by BOG.
The May Revision adds $39.6 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Fund for deferred maintenance, instructional equipment, and specified water conservation projects. The January budget proposal did not include any funds for community college deferred maintenance.
Assembly Higher Education Committee Approves 2020 State School Bond Bill, AB 48
On April 23, 2019, Assembly Higher Education Committee heard AB 48 (O’Donnell), the 2020 school bond bill. The committee passed AB 48 with 9 aye votes and 3 members abstaining. CCFC Legislative Advocate Rebekah Cearley provided lead testimony on the bill, emphasizing the role of facilities in making progress on the Vision for Success, and the importance of creating more certainty for community college districts as they plan their projects and bond programs.
CCFC worked with the author’s office to craft language providing more specificity for community college projects. AB 48 requires the Board of Governors (BOG) to prepare an annual capital outlay plan to provide recommendations for available bond funding, based on guidelines that mirror the priority funding categories in the existing BOG policy. The Chancellor’s Office is currently reviewing the priority funding categories for possible updates; if the policy is changed, Assembly Member O’Donnell may be able to amend AB 48 to reflect new funding categories.
AB 48 is currently on the suspense file in Assembly Appropriations Committee; next week, the Committee will consider potential costs to the state. AB 48 would authorize two bond elections, one in March 2020 and another in November 2022. It does not yet include a dollar amount for either bond, though we expect this to be added in order to pass off the suspense file.
Click here for the full text of AB 48.
AB 695 Design-Build Authorization
AB 695 (Medina), the design-build sunset extension, continues to move through the legislative process. The bill was passed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 24, 2019, and approved by the full Assembly on May 6, 2019. It is now pending committee assignment in the Senate.
AB 695 extends the authorization for community college districts to use design-build by 10 years, to January 1, 2030. The author amended AB 695 to create new skilled workforce provisions for community college design-build projects, mirroring existing requirements for K-12 and other public agency design-build projects. The amendments were requested by the State Building and Construction Trades Council. CCFC was successful in pushing back the implementation of these requirements from January 1, 2020 to July 1, 2020. Please click here for additional information on the skilled workforce requirements, and here for the full text of AB 695.
CCFC Legislative Advocate