On Thursday, February 4th, 2021, the CCFC Board took support positions on both education bond measures, AB 75 (O’Donnell) and SB 22 (Glazer).
Assembly Bill 75 (O'Donnell)
AB 75 would place a new state school bond on the 2022 ballot. The measure includes community college facilities as well as those for K-12. The bond authorization dollar amount and the election date (primary or general in 2022) are both left blank. As introduced, funds for the community college capital outlay program would be subject to appropriation by the Legislature in the annual budget act, which is the same process that is currently used to allocate funds.
Senate Bill 22 (Glazer)
SB 22 would place a statewide education facilities bond on the 2022 ballot, and would continue the important partnership between the state and local communities. While CCFC supports this measure, CCFC has requested amendments to remove the provisions that would increase local bonding capacity. This change would allow school districts and community college districts to ask their voters to approve larger bond authorizations than they are currently permitted to seek. While this could be a positive policy change, it is not related to voter approval of a state school bond, and instead pertains to local bond authorizations. These provisions were included in Proposition 13, the 2020 state school bond that was rejected by voters. One of the primary arguments used against that bond was that it would increase local property taxes. CCFC believes this section in SB 22 would create unnecessary risk that would place an anti-taxation target on the bond.
Numerous discussions and negotiations are under way between the Administration, Legislature, and stakeholders on both measures. A number of additional bond measures have been introduced ranging from broadband to water issues. Included in the negotiations between the Legislature and Governor will be deciding which bond measures will move forward on which ballot (if any) and the total amount in bonds that will be placed on each ballot.
Tentative hearing dates for AB 75 (O’Donnell) are April 1st in the Assembly Committee on Education, and April 22nd in the Assembly Committee on Higher Education. CCFC will continue to engage in discussions with bond bill authors and stakeholders, and report back on any actions that may take place.
Joint Hearing on the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
On February 10th, the State Assembly held a joint hearing regarding vaccine distribution. Concerns were raised by county heath directors about gaps that have been identified in reporting vaccine distribution as well as different cohorts of currently eligible individuals who have had difficulties getting a vaccine. The state acknowledged the complexities of the vaccine rollout and noted they are working on addressing those inequities and should have a statewide program created in mid-March to allow residents to quickly and easily find out where they can get a vaccine and how to make an appointment.
CCFC Legislative Advocate