School bond bill not among the package of pending facility measures

For school facility managers, perhaps the most important legislation this session is one that appears to be no longer viable - a bill that would have authorized placing a statewide school bond measure before voters in the fall.

AB 331 by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Oak Park, quietly died in January after the bill was targeted for defeat by the Brown administration and legislative leaders. Gov. Jerry Brown has made it clear he wants the fall ballot cleared of potential rivals to his tax measure - which included the proposed school bond measure.

Although Brownley's bill is dead, many school construction advocates continue to lobby for its resurrection - noting the dire condition of existing facility funding.

Expectations are that state funding for school projects could run out next month.

Given the circumstances, officials from the California Coalition for Adequate School Funding continue to advocate a 2012 statewide bond by circulating a sample letter template they want district administrators and any other supporters to sign and to send to the governor and legislative leaders.

The letter argues that not only is a statewide school bond desperately needed to satisfy a growing backlog of projects - but that it also would serve as an economic stimulus. The letter also points out the school bond has polled well and would even help the governor's tax measure.

There has been no sign yet from Brown's office that he has changed his mind.

Meanwhile, here's a rundown of some of the other pending bills important to facility managers:

SB 1404, by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, would expand the definition of a district's direct costs, allowing districts to collect fees from groups that promote youth and school activities such as scouting, or arrange and supervise sports league activities for youths on school grounds.

Under Hancock's proposal, districts could collect operating and maintenance costs, a share of amortized costs for repairing, refurbishing, or replacing school property, or additional costs related to the other entity's use of school facilities or grounds.

Existing law, known as the Civic Center Act, authorizes school districts to collect fees from sports or youth programs, provided the fees do not exceed the district's direct costs for the facilities' use.

AB 1608, by Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, would require rebates be made available for the purchase of eligible medium- or heavy-duty commercial vehicles from a California manufacturer in an amount 40 percent greater than rebates made available for the purchase of eligible medium- or heavy-duty commercial vehicles not from a California manufacturer.

SB 1295, by Senator Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, would authorize school districts to operate a schoolbus upon which the school district has affixed commercial advertisements, notwithstanding any restrictions in law or regulation regarding the signage that may be affixed on a schoolbus. Huff promotes the legislation as an option that school districts could use to raise revenues.

SB 1518, by Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, would state the intent of the Legislature to enact subsequent legislation allowing school districts to affix commercial advertising on schoolbuses.

AB 1622, by Assemblyman Mike Eng, D-Monterey Park, would authorize the San Marino Unified School District to sell the site of the former Stoneman Elementary School to the City of San Marino and use the proceeds from the sale for school district education programs.

AB 794, by Assemblyman Wieckowski, D-Fremont, would allow the interest on the notes to be paid from a property tax levied for that purpose if authorized by a resolution of the governing board and would provide that this tax is authorized by law. The bill also would allow the premium received on the sale of the bonds to be used to pay the interest on the notes. Existing law limits the total amount of bonds a school or community college district may issue to 1.25 percent of the taxable property of the school or community college district.

AB 1565, by Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Los Angeles, would, until January 1, 2018, require the questionnaire and uniform system of rating bidders described above to cover, at a minimum, the issues covered by the standardized questionnaire and model guidelines for rating bidders developed by the Department of Industrial Relations, as specified. This bill would provide that the questionnaire and uniform system of rating bidders described above shall not preclude the governing board of the district from prequalifying or disqualifying a subcontractor. This bill would provide that these provisions shall not apply to school districts with an average daily attendance of less than 2,500.

AB 1726, by Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa, would require an owner of a public swimming pool to employ at least one qualified pool operator, as defined, and to maintain and conspicuously post a current certificate of each qualified pool operator employed by the swimming pool. This bill would require originals or copies of the certificate or documentation of each qualified pool operator employed by the site to be available onsite for inspection by a local enforcement agency.

AB 2317, by Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, R-Stockton, would authorize manual sanitization in food facilities to be accomplished by immersion, manual swabbing, or brushing, using a solution of 0.5 ppm ozone for at least 30 seconds. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

SB 1271, by Senator Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, would require the Department of General Services to convene a workgroup to develop and adopt standards, subject to approval of other members of the working group, with respect to the seismic safety of schools and to make recommendations to the Legislature on ways to amend the Field Act to make it more effective. The bill would require the workgroup to include representatives from the office of the State Auditor, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Office of Emergency Services, and the State Architect. The bill would require the workgroup to adopt the standards and submit the recommendations by January 1, 2014. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2016.

SB 1509, by Senator Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, would delete a Jan. 1, 2014, repeal date for an existing law that authorizes a school district governing board to enter into a design-build contract for both the design and construction of a school facility if specified requirements are met. This bill would delete the January 1, 2014, repeal date, making the chapter operative indefinitely.

AB 2434, by Assemblyman Marty Block, D-San Diego, would extend until Jan. 1, 2019, a law authorizing a school district that meets prescribed requirements to deposit proceeds from the sale of surplus school property, together with any personal property located on that property, purchased entirely with local funds, into the general fund of the school district and to use those proceeds for any one-time general fund purpose. Existing law is set to expire Jan. 1, 2014.

AB 1199, by Assemblywoman Brownley, D-Santa Monica, would provide that members of a citizens' oversight committee serve for a term of two years without compensation and for no more than three consecutive terms. Existing law requires members of a citizens' oversight committee to serve for a term of two years without compensation and for no more than two consecutive terms.

SB 1204, by Senator Mark Wyland, R-Escondido, would require the local citizens' oversight committee to select the auditor or auditing firm that will perform financial audits. The bill would require the school or community college district to submit performance and financial audits to the controller and county superintendent of schools. The bill would require the controller to post the audits on the controller's website. The bill would require the county superintendent of schools to include a review of the audits when reviewing other audits submitted by school districts under his or her jurisdiction, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program.

AB 1570, by Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, would require the lead agency, at the request of a project applicant, among other things, to prepare a record of proceedings concurrently with the preparation and certification of an Environmental Impact Report. The California Environmental Quality Act establishes a procedure for preparation and certification of the record of proceedings upon the filing of an action or proceeding challenging a lead agency's action on the grounds of noncompliance with CEQA. Because the bill would require a lead agency to prepare the record of proceedings as provided, it would impose a state-mandated local program.

SB 359, by Senator Ed Hernandez, D-Los Angeles, would revise requirements in connection with glove use and hand washing, revise the definition of limited food preparation," and authorize a local enforcement agency to approve temporary alternative storage methods and locations. By imposing new duties upon local agencies, and expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

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