At the League of California Cities statewide committee on Housing, Community, and Economic Development. This is our final meeting this year before our League Annual Conference in October in Long Beach. As Vice President of the Sacramento Valley Division of the League – the largest division in the state with 57 cities to represent, issues such as housing and community development are central to community vitality. It has been an honor and an enlightening experience to serve on this committee.

I am proud to have voted in support of the California Public Education Facilities Bond Initiative at the League of California Cities Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee encouraging the Legislature and the Governor to support this initiative. This support is inline with the Chico Unified School District and State Senator Jim Nielsen. Some possible concerns are pushing for support to just the lowest assessed communities – thereby having the greatest impact on the lowest income communities. Given my debt averse perspective, this is encouraging. However, with regard to school bonds I generally support bond indebtedness that directly benefits the generation that will be paying the debt (i.e. children and education).

Unfortunately, my committee chose to take a “No Position” action on this initiative. It certainly isn’t a perfect initiative (I rarely see one that is). But it was appropriate to support in my opinion.

The California Public Education Facilities Bond Initiative will be the first education-related bond measure to appear on the ballot since 2006’s Prop. 1D, which the League supported. This new initiative is the first education-related bond measure to be citizen-initiated.

The measure would authorize $9 billion in general obligation bonds to fund construction and improvement of school facilities for K-12 schools and community colleges.

Initiative Summary:

• The proceeds from $9 billion in bonds would be stored in a 2016 State School Facilities Fund and a 2016 Community College Capital Outlay Bond Fund. Proceeds would be allocated as follows:

$3 billion for the construction of new K-12 school facilities;
$3 billion for the modernization of K-12 school facilities;
$2 billion for acquiring, construction, renovating and equipping community college facilities;
$500 million for providing K-12 charter school facilities;
$500 million for career technical education facilities.

• The underlying funding formulas and requirements would be based on the state’s School Facilities Program as it stood on Jan. 1, 2015. In most cases, the State Allocation Board provides funding on a first-come, first-served basis.