The State Assembly unanimously passed a bill on May 29 that would place a statewide school facilities bond on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.
Assembly Bill 2235 -- authored by Assemblymembers Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) and Joan Buchanan (D- Alamo), whose district includes the San Ramon Valley -- authorizes a $9 billion general obligation bond that, if approved by voters, would provide $6 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of K-12 schools and $3 billion for higher education facilities.
The legislation now moves to the California State Senate for consideration.
"The last bond passed in 2006. Funds for the construction and modernization of K-12 and higher education institutions have been depleted for several years, jeopardizing the completion of many local projects. Passing a state bond will ensure that students attend safe and adequate facilities, positively impacting student achievement," Buchanan said.
State bond funds for K-12 facilities are managed by the School Facility Program, according to a statement from Buchanan issued May 29. The facility program requires a 50% local match for construction of new schools and 40% match for the modernization of schools.
State bond funds are matched more than 2-to-1 by local bond funds and developer fees. Local communities pass local bonds anticipating the state match, according to Buchanan.
"I spent a year reviewing the school facilities program, and it has proven to be one of the state's most successful partnerships. I am pleased that both parties recognize the critical need for a new bond to build and modernize educational facilities," Hagman added. "The bond also has the added benefit of aiding our economic recovery by creating tens of thousands of jobs and controlling the once volatile costs imposed on the construction of new residential units to fund school construction."
Bill supporters include the California Chamber of Commerce, State Building and Construction Trades Council, California State PTA, California Building Industry Association, and over 30 school districts and county offices of education and over 25 community colleges and districts.