November 3, 2015
The Legislature concluded its business for the year on September 11, 2015, and will reconvene in Sacramento on January 4, 2016. The Governor had until October 11, 2015, to sign or veto bills. Below is an update on final actions for C.A.S.H. priority bills that made it to the Governor’s desk.
The Governor signed the following bills into law:
Skilled Workforce Bills
Three bills aimed at ensuring a skilled workforce on school construction projects were signed by the Governor this year, all of which implement similar workforce provisions. This approach to ensuring a skilled workforce has been described by key legislators, staffers, and others as the wave of the future. Concerns exist about the availability of appropriate apprentices and journeypersons to complete school construction jobs across the state.
AB 566 (O’Donnell) – Lease-Leaseback Projects
C.A.S.H. Position: Requested Veto
This bill enacts significant changes that will ultimately make the lease-leaseback delivery method more difficult to use. AB 566 creates more stringent requirements for projects using lease-leaseback by requiring the use of a skilled and trained workforce, defined as a workforce where all workers are either skilled journeypersons or apprentices registered in an apprentice program approved by the Chief of the Division of Apprenticeship Standards of the Department of Industrial Relations. Additionally, the bill expands prequalification requirements for lease-leaseback, requiring prequalification regardless of contract size or funding source.
AB 1358 (Dababneh) – Design-Build Projects
C.A.S.H. Position: Watch
This bill recasts the existing design-build authorization, extending the sunset on this authority until 2025 and lowering the threshold for use from $2.5 million to $1million. The bill also requires the use of a skilled and trained workforce (apprentices and journeypersons) for all workers on a design-build project, similar to the requirements in AB 566.
AB 1185 (Ridley-Thomas) – LAUSD Best Value Pilot Program
C.A.S.H. Position: Watch
This bill authorizes Los Angeles Unified School District to create a pilot program for the use of a best value procurement method for public projects that exceed $1 million. It includes similar skilled workforce requirements.
AB 219 (Daly) – Concrete Delivery
C.A.S.H. Position: Watch
This bill expands the definition of “public works” to include the hauling and delivery of ready-mix concrete. Prevailing wage law, including the Department of Industrial Relations monitoring program created by SB 854 (2014) would apply. The bill was co-sponsored by a number of organized labor groups. Opponents were concerned about the potential slippery slope that could expand this policy to delivery of other materials, and they argued that ready-mix concrete is delivered by drivers, not construction workers.
AB 552 (O’Donnell) – Consequential Damages
C.A.S.H. Position: Concern
This bill provides that a clause in a public works construction project requiring the contractor to be responsible for delay damages is not enforceable unless the delay damages have been liquidated to a set amount and identified in the contract. The author was concerned that some public agencies have begun utilizing contract provisions for delays that call for both liquidated damages and unlimited consequential damages, making it difficult for insurers to provide surety bonds for projects.
AB 715 (Daly) – Assessable Space
C.A.S.H. Position: Oppose (Became Neutral)
This bill revises the definition of assessable space for developer fee calculations, adding “covered” or “uncovered” to describe walkways exempt from the calculation. The bill was sponsored by the California Apartment Association and originally sought to exclude from the calculation additional spaces they believed did not represent livable space, such as bike storage lockers and detached personal property storage.
SB 111 (Fuller) – Military Base Schools
C.A.S.H. Position: Support
This bill expresses the Legislature’s intent to provide assistance to school districts to help fund the local match requirements of the federal Department of Defense school facility grant program for military base schools. It requires the Department of Finance to explore funding options for this purpose, including possible low-interest loans through the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank.
SB 222 (Block) – Statutory Liens
C.A.S.H. Position: Support
This bill requires an automatic lien on all tax revenues received from local bond issuances; revenues received from the levy and collection of the tax would be immediately subject to the lien. The bill was sponsored by the San Diego Unified School District and is intended to help improve rating agency treatment of school general obligation bonds, possibly leading to lower borrowing costs.
SB 350 (De Leon) – Climate Change
C.A.S.H. Position: Watch
This bill sets forth new goals for California’s greenhouse gas emission reductions. It establishes a statewide 50 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2030, and it requires a doubling of building energy efficiency by 2030. Details will now be worked out by various state agencies and departments. Effects on schools are not specified and will ultimately be determined as the bill moves through the implementation phase; the author has indicated that he intends for a robust stakeholder input process. This bill initially required a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use in cars by 2030 as well, but that provision was not included in the final adopted language.
The Governor vetoed the following bills:
AB 1347 (Chiu) – Claims Process
CSFC Position: Oppose (Now Neutral)
This bill establishes a new claims and dispute resolution process, seeking to achieve timely payment for undisputed claims amounts. It was sponsored by United Contractors and a number of other labor groups. Specifically, the bill requires a public owner to respond to a claim within 45 days to identify disputed and undisputed amounts; non-response means that the claim is rejected in its entirety. The owner would then have 60 days to pay undisputed amounts, and contractors could request a meet and confer process for disputed amounts. The bill allows a contractor to submit a claim on behalf of a subcontractor without standing. C.A.S.H. worked closely with a coalition of public works entities to negotiate a reasonable compromise with the proponents, and we were ultimately able to remove opposition. The Governor vetoed the bill, questioning whether the new procedures were an improvement over current law. In his veto message, he directed his departments to “immediately work with industry partners and the proponents of this bill on ways of improving our prompt payment policies.”
SB 334 (Leyva) – Drinking Water
C.A.S.H. Position: Watch
This bill specifies that drinking water at schools must meet United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for lead. Schools with lead-containing plumbing components must flush drinking water sources at the beginning of each day. The Governor vetoed the bill, concerned about the creation of a state mandate with potentially large costs. He directed the State Water Resources Control Board to work with school districts and local public water systems to incorporate water quality testing in schools as part of their lead and copper rule.
DSA Irrigation Efficiency Regulations
The Building Standards Commission (BSC) is considering a proposal to make permanent the emergency irrigation efficiency regulations, developed by Division of the State Architect (DSA), that were adopted by the BSC on July 21, 2015. A 45-day public comment period opened on September 25, 2015, and comments are due by November 9, 2015.
Since the adoption of the emergency regulations, C.A.S.H. staff has worked closely with DSA to provide feedback on the implementation process. DSA has indicated that they plan to issue an Interpretation of Regulations (IR) to provide additional detail on flexibility provisions and other program details. State Architect Chet Widom has stated that the emergency regulations will go into effect for projects submitted to DSA on or after December 1, 2015. This date aligns with the effective date of similar regulations recently adopted by the Department of Water Resources.
C.A.S.H. has expressed concerns regarding making permanent a temporary program that has yet to go into effect. These regulations will increase project costs; however, it appears that a cost-benefit analysis has not been done and the full impacts are unknown.
C.A.S.H. leadership and staff worked with DSA to achieve a higher threshold for triggering the new regulations. The new requirements currently apply to new construction and additions of 1,000 square feet or more. DSA has indicated that they will increase the threshold for applicability to 1,600 square feet, and that proposed revisions to the regulations are forthcoming. This change is primarily in recognition of the larger single classroom spaces needed to accommodate students with special needs.
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in School Environments
Over the past few years, media stories have focused on the issue of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in public schools and their potential impact on the health and safety of students, teachers and staff. Currently, there is no official guidance for schools to manage and mitigate the presence of PCBs in school facilities. C.A.S.H. is working with other school advocacy organizations for more guidance on this issue, based on a Best Management Practices approach rather than a prescriptive one. This is an important issue for school M&O departments in particular and will be explored in detail at the C.A.S.H. Maintenance Network Workshop in Sanger on November 13. For more information on the workshop, please visit www.cashnet.org.
C.A.S.H. Happy Hour/Networking Mixer – November 12 in Rancho Mirage
Join your fellow school facility professionals on November 12 at a happy hour/networking mixer located at the residence of Layne and Julie Arthur, located at 38-851 Nielson Road in Rancho Mirage. For more information, contact Mike Vail at (949) 498-8993.
C.A.S.H. Maintenance Management Certification Program Application Deadline: December 18
The C.A.S.H. Maintenance Management Certification Program (CMMCP) is a rigorous academy designed to develop current and potential maintenance staff into leading experts in the maintenance arena. The CMMCP is a unique educational experience for those who would like to increase their expertise in the management of school maintenance and operations – CMMCP graduates are a vital asset to school districts throughout California. This program is only offered by C.A.S.H. every other year; don’t miss your chance to be a part of the 2016-2017 cohort! Please see the attached brochure and application for more information. Applications are due December 18 and space is limited. If you have any questions, please contact C.A.S.H. staff member Melissa O’Campo at email@example.com or (916) 448-8577.
C.A.S.H. 37th Annual Conference
Registration is now open for the C.A.S.H. 37th Annual Conference, being held February 22-24, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento and Sacramento Convention Center. Join the more than 1,000 school facilities professionals that will convene in Sacramento for education, innovation and networking opportunities. Highlights of the Conference will include: the NextGen Experience, a hands-on simulated learning space where attendees gather to discover the latest advancements in classroom design right on the trade show floor, and the Networking Dinner, held Tuesday evening following the close of the trade show.
Hotel reservations are now also being accepted. For more information or to register, please visit the C.A.S.H. Annual Conference website, or call the C.A.S.H. office at (916) 448-8577.
Show your support! Become an Annual Conference sponsor and exhibitor today! Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the premier school facilities conference. Trade show spaces are selling quickly. NextGen Experience Industry Partner applications are also being accepted, for a limited time. To secure your sponsorship and booth space, contact Laurie Eaton, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 448-8577.
Call for Nominations – C.A.S.H. Board of Directors
The C.A.S.H. Nominating Committee is seeking applications to fill three open positions on the Board of Directors; there are two (2) public sector openings and one (1) private sector opening. Nominees must be an active C.A.S.H. member, with leadership experience in K-12 school facilities and/or maintenance programs. The deadline for nominations is Thursday, November 12. For more information, please see the attached Call for Nominations.
For the latest updates on important matters affecting school facilities, be sure to check the new CASH Register news website at www.cashfacilitiesnews.org.
~ C.A.S.H. Staff