October 2, 2014
The Legislature and Governor have completed their work on legislation for the 2013-14 session. August 31 was the last day for the Legislature to pass bills to the Governor, at which time they adjourned for final recess. The Governor had until September 30 to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature at the end of August. The 2015-16 session will convene on December 1, 2014, with the new Senators and Assembly Members elected in November.
This year, the Governor received 1,074 bills. He signed 930, vetoed 143, and one bill became law without his action.
C.A.S.H. Next Steps to Preserve the State-Local Partnership
As we all know, bond bill AB 2235 (Buchanan/Hagman) stalled in the Senate when the Governor notified Legislative leadership that he was unable to support it. C.A.S.H. is developing alternatives to not having a state bond and is exploring ways to increase school district access to local facilities funds. Come to the C.A.S.H. Fall Conference in Newport Beach on October 28-29 to learn more about next steps.
Bills on the Governor’s Desk
Below is an update on a selection of significant bills of interest for C.A.S.H. that were passed by the Legislature and acted upon by the Governor.
Lease-Leaseback Prequalification: AB 1581 (Buchanan) extends pre-qualification requirements added by AB 1565 (2012) to lease-leaseback projects. C.A.S.H. took an oppose position, arguing that the new pre-qualification requirements should be allowed to go into effect before making significant changes to the law. We also had concerns about adding language to the Education Code sections granting Lease-Leaseback authority (Sections 17406 and 17407) and believed that changes to the Public Contract Code, where the pre-qualification statute resides, would suffice. The bill was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.
Naylor Act: AB 1664 (Hagman) makes modifications to the Naylor Act regarding the sale or lease of surplus property. This bill added school districts, county offices of education, and child care agencies as specified public entities to which surplus property should first be offered, to achieve consistency with the provisions of his bill AB 308 (2013) regarding the return of state SFP dollars used to purchase a site that is sold within ten years of purchase. C.A.S.H. believed that this bill was unnecessary, based on the precedent set by case law regarding what constitutes an “offer” under the Naylor provisions. We also believe that districts are adequately able to manage their assets under current statute. As such, C.A.S.H. took an oppose position. The bill was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.
Retention Limit Sunset: AB 1705 (Williams) extends the sunset on the 5% retention limit for two years, until January 1, 2018. C.A.S.H. adopted an “oppose unless amended” position. Initially, the bill was focused on providing more specificity regarding the definition of “substantially complex,” as projects designated as such may exceed the 5% retention limit in law. The bill was amended late in the session to specify that “a finding by a public entity that a project is substantially complex shall include a description of the specific project and why it is a unique project that is not regularly, customarily, or routinely performed.” The amendment to extend the sunset was proposed and adopted in the final committee hearing (Senate Governmental Organization Committee) without providing adequate time for public review and input. C.A.S.H. joined with a coalition of other public works organizations to urge the Governor to veto the bill on the grounds that the sunset review process for this important policy decision was bypassed. The bill was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.
Use of Pesticides: SB 1405 (DeSaulnier) requires schools using pesticides not exempt from the requirements of the Healthy Schools Act to post an integrated pest management plan on their websites, and it requires that individuals applying pesticides at school sites complete an annual training course provided by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). Additionally, schools that use pesticides not exempted by the Healthy Schools Act are required to submit a copy of pesticide use records to the DPR. C.A.S.H. initially opposed the bill and worked with the author’s office, DPR, and supporters regarding our concerns. Once we received assurances that the training component will be minimal, likely online, C.A.S.H. adopted a neutral position. The bill was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.
~ Rebekah Cearley