Today the Senate Education Committee passed an amended version of AB 48, containing the state school bond compromise negotiated between Legislative leadership and the Administration over the last week. The bill will now be taken up on the Senate Floor and, if passed, it will go to the Assembly for a last vote before heading to the Governor. All this must be done by tomorrow, September 13, to meet legislative deadlines. The Governor would then have until October 13 to sign or veto the bill.
AB 48 provides $15 billion for K-12 and college facilities:
$9 billion for K-12
$2 billion for community colleges
$2 billion for UC
$2 billion for CSU
AB 48 also:
Increases a community college district’s bonding capacity from 2.5% to 4.0% of taxable property.
Establishes the requirement for an independent performance audit of community college capital outlay projects funded by the state bond. The governing board must hold at least one public hearing to solicit input from members of the public regarding a proposed state-funded project.
We had originally heard that the Administration was recommending only $1 billion for community colleges. After hearing from numerous college organizations, including the Chancellor’s Office and CCFC, that amount landed at $2 billion in the final version of the bill.
Unfortunately, AB 48 does not include language to help provide more certainty on the types of projects to be funded, beyond just health and safety projects. Prior versions of the bill contained such provisions that were supported by CCFC and other college organizations. These were stricken from the final version. There were conversations over the last month about whether to include a set-aside for student housing, though this was ultimately not included.
AB 48 includes significant changes to the K-12 program, which are in some cases still being evaluated. This includes modifications both to the processing and distribution of funds, as well as to the share of costs paid by developers and school districts.
Tomorrow’s session may go late into the night; stay tuned for more information!
CCFC Legislative Advocate