June 15, 2017
Today, the Legislature passed AB 97, the budget bill for FY 2017-18, meeting the constitutional deadline to pass an on-time budget by June 15, 2017. The Legislature also passed a number of accompanying trailer bills to implement policy changes in the budget. The budget includes $125.1 billion in General Fund spending, including $9.9 billion in total reserves. This is the largest budget reserve in California’s history and is consistent with the Governor’s priority of preparing for the next economic downturn. The budget will now go to the Governor for his signature, or line item veto, if any.
School Finance Budget Trailer Bill – AB 99
School Facility Audit Language – This bill includes new school facility audit language (commencing with changes to Education Code Section 41024) that requires local auditors to include state funded facility projects in the annual school district audit. The audit language includes references to the new fund release grant agreement adopted at the June 5, 2017 State Allocation Board (SAB) meeting. The audit language also includes language on the use of project savings and the process for repaying state funds audit exceptions.
One-Time Discretionary Funding – This bill includes $876.6 million (one-time Proposition 98) for any purpose, including deferred maintenance and capital outlay. This is approximately $145 per average daily attendance.
Emergency Repair Program – This bill includes language that any unencumbered funds in the School Facilities Emergency Repair Account revert to the Proposition 98 Reversion Account. AB 99 extends this encumbrance.
Budget Trailer Bills AB 111 and SB 96 (Anticipate Approval at the Time of Posting)
Proposition 39 – The date for local encumbrance of these funds increases from June 30, 2018 to June 30, 2019.
DSA Filing Fee – The Legislature passed budget trailer bill AB 111, which increases Division of the State Architect (DSA) project filing fees for construction or alteration of school buildings. The fee will increase from 0.7% to 1.25% for the first $1 million in construction costs, and from 0.6% to 1.0% for costs in excess of $1 million. If the balance in the Public School Planning, Design, and Construction Review Revolving Fund exceeds six months of expenditures, the fee will automatically decrease.
Department of Industrial Relations – The Legislature passed budget trailer bill SB 96, which makes changes to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) prevailing wage monitoring program, including:
Raises the threshold for the program’s applicability from $1,000 to $25,000 for construction projects and $15,000 for maintenance projects.
- Increases penalties for contractors and subcontractors who fail to register correctly.
- Creates new penalties for awarding bodies, including school districts, which would be subject to a fine of up to $100 per day, up to $10,000.
- An awarding body determined to be a “willful violator” with two program violations within 12 months could lose state facility funding for one year.
- Increases the annual contractor registration fee from $300 to $400 and permits a contractor to register for multiple years at a time.
The budget also includes $805,000 in 2017-18 and $759,000 in 2018-19 for positions to educate awarding bodies about their requirements under the law.
Additional OPSC Staffing and Bond Sales – We thank Senator Bates for her comments on lack of Proposition 51 progress; however, the budget agreement does not include any additional staff for the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) nor any proposed increase in the January budget proposal for Proposition 51 state school bond sales.
~ CASH Staff