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AB-1908 School bonds.(1999-2000)

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AB1908:v94#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 1908
CHAPTER 44

An act to amend Sections 15102, 15106, 35233, and 72533 of, and to add Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 15264) to Part 10 of, the Education Code, relating to school bonds.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  June 27, 2000. Approved by Governor  June 27, 2000. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1908, Lempert. School bonds.
Existing law authorizes the governing board of any school district or community college to order an election and submit to the electors of the district the question of whether the bonds of the district shall be issued and sold to raise money for specified purposes. Existing law generally requires2/3 of the votes cast on the proposition of issuing bonds to be in favor of issuing the bonds to pass the measure.
This bill would provide that, contingent upon the passage of the “Smaller Classes, Safer Schools and Financial Accountability Act” at the November 7, 2000, general election, as an alternative, the governing board of a school district or community college district, may, pursuant to a 2/3 vote of the governing board, pursue the authorization and issuance of bonds by a 55% vote of the electorate, at a primary or general election, a regularly scheduled local election, or a statewide special election, subject to certain additional requirements.
The bill would require the ballot to be printed with a statement that the governing board will appoint a citizens’ oversight committee and conduct annual independent audits to assure that funds are spent only on school and classroom improvements and for no other purposes. The bill would require that after a successful election, the board appoint an independent citizens’ oversight committee, as specified. The bill would state that the purpose of the citizens’ oversight committee is to inform the public concerning the expenditure of bond revenues.
The bill would authorize, as specified, an action to be maintained to restrain and prevent expenditures of bond funds under certain circumstances.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 15102 of the Education Code is amended to read:

15102.
 The total amount of bonds issued pursuant to this chapter and Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 15264) shall not exceed 1.25 percent of the taxable property of the district as shown by the last equalized assessment of the county or counties in which the district is located. For purposes of this section, the taxable property of a district for any fiscal year shall be calculated to include, but not be limited to, the assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the district, which shall be derived by dividing the gross assessed value of the unitary and operating nonunitary property within the district for the 1987–88 fiscal year by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property within the county in which the district is located for the 1987–88 fiscal year, and multiplying that result by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the county on the last equalized assessment roll.

SEC. 2.

 Section 15106 of the Education Code is amended to read:

15106.
 Any unified school district or community college district may issue bonds that, in aggregation with bonds issued pursuant to Section 15270, may not exceed 2.5 percent of the taxable property of the district as shown by the last equalized assessment of the county or counties in which the district is located.
In computing the outstanding bonded indebtedness of any unified school district or community college district for all purposes of this section, any outstanding bonds shall be deemed to have been issued for elementary school purposes, high school purposes, and community college purposes, respectively, in the respective amounts that the proceeds of the sale of those outstanding bonds, excluding any premium and accrued interest received on that sale, were or have been allocated by the governing board of the unified school district or community college district to each of those purposes respectively.
(a) For the purposes of the State School Building Aid Law of 1952 (Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 16000) of Part 10) with respect to applications for apportionments and apportionments filed or made prior to September 15, 1961, and to the repayment thereof, Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 15700) of this part, inclusive, only, any unified school district shall be considered to have a bonding capacity in the amount permitted by law for an elementary school district and a bonding capacity in the amount permitted by law for a high school district.
(b) For purposes of this section, the taxable property of a district for any fiscal year shall be calculated to include, but not be limited to, the assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the district, which shall be derived by dividing the gross assessed value of the unitary and operating nonunitary property within the district for the 1987–88 fiscal year by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property within the county in which the district is located for the 1987–88 fiscal year, and multiplying the result by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the county on the last equalized assessment roll. In the event of the unification of two or more school districts or community college districts subsequent to the 1987–88 fiscal year, the assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the unified district or community college district shall be deemed to be the total of the assessed value of the taxable property of each of the unifying districts as that assessed value would be determined under Section 15102.

SEC. 3.

 Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 15264) is added to Part 10 of the Education Code, to read:
CHAPTER  1.5. Strict Accountability in Local School Construction Bonds Act of 2000
Article  1. General Provisions

15264.
 It is the intent of the Legislature that all of the following are realized:
(a) Vigorous efforts are undertaken to ensure that the expenditure of bond measures, including those authorized pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, are in strict conformity with the law.
(b) Taxpayers directly participate in the oversight of bond expenditures.
(c) The members of the oversight committees appointed pursuant to this chapter promptly alert the public to any waste or improper expenditure of school construction bond money.
(d) That unauthorized expenditures of school construction bond revenues are vigorously investigated, prosecuted, and that the courts act swiftly to restrain any improper expenditures.

15266.
 (a) As an alternative to authorizing and issuing bonds pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 15100), the governing board of a school district or community college district may decide, pursuant to a two-thirds vote and subject to Section 15100, to pursue the authorization and issuance of bonds pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution and subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution. An election may only be ordered on the question of whether bonds of a school district or community college district shall be issued and sold pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution at a primary or general election, a regularly scheduled local election, or a statewide special election.
(b) Upon adopting a resolution to incur bonded indebtedness pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution and after the question has been submitted to the voters, if approved at the election, the bonds shall be issued pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution and this chapter, and the governing board may not, regardless of the number of votes cast in favor of the bond, subsequently proceed exclusively under Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 15100). Where not inconsistent, the provisions of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 15100) shall apply to this chapter.

15268.
 The total amount of bonds issued pursuant to this section and Section 15102 shall not exceed 1.25 percent of the taxable property of the district as shown by the last equalized assessment of the county or counties in which the district is located. The tax rate levied to meet the requirements of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution in the case of indebtedness incurred by a school district pursuant to this chapter, at a single election, shall not exceed thirty dollars ($30) per one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) of taxable property. For purposes of this section, the taxable property of a district for any fiscal year shall be calculated to include, but not be limited to, the assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the district, which shall be derived by dividing the gross assessed value of the unitary and operating nonunitary property within the district for the 1987–88 fiscal year by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property within the county in which the district is located for the 1987–88 fiscal year, and multiplying that result by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the county on the last equalized assessment roll.

15270.
 (a) Notwithstanding Sections 15102 and 15268, any unified school district may issue bonds pursuant to this article that, in aggregation with bonds issued pursuant to Section 15106, may not exceed 2.5 percent of the taxable property of the district as shown by the last equalized assessment of the county or counties in which the district is located. The tax rate levied to meet the requirements of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution in the case of indebtedness incurred pursuant to this chapter at a single election, by a unified school district, shall not exceed sixty dollars ($60) per one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) of taxable property.
(b) Notwithstanding Sections 15102 and 15268, any community college district may issue bonds pursuant to this article that, in aggregation with bonds issued pursuant to Section 15106, may not exceed 2.5 percent of the taxable property of the district as shown by the last equalized assessment of the county or counties in which the district is located. The tax rate levied to meet the requirements of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution in the case of indebtedness incurred pursuant to this chapter at a single election, by a community college district, shall not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25) per one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) of taxable property.
(c) In computing the outstanding bonded indebtedness of any unified school district or community college district for all purposes of this section, any outstanding bonds shall be deemed to have been issued for elementary school purposes, high school purposes, and community college purposes, respectively, in the respective amounts that the proceeds of the sale of those outstanding bonds, excluding any premium and accrued interest received on that sale, were or have been allocated by the governing board of the unified school district or community college district to each of those purposes respectively.
(d) For purposes of this section, the taxable property of a district for any fiscal year shall be calculated to include, but not be limited to, the assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the district, which shall be derived by dividing the gross assessed value of the unitary and operating nonunitary property within the district for the 1987–88 fiscal year by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property within the county in which the district is located for the 1987–88 fiscal year, and multiplying the result by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the county on the last equalized assessment roll. In the event of the unification of two or more school districts subsequent to the 1987–88 fiscal year, the assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the unified district shall be deemed to be the total of the assessed value of the taxable property of each of the unifying districts as that assessed value would be determined under Section 15268.

15272.
 In addition to the ballot requirements of Section 15122 and the ballot provisions of this code applicable to governing board member elections, for bond measures pursuant to this chapter, the ballot shall also be printed with a statement that the board will appoint a citizens’ oversight committee and conduct annual independent audits to assure that funds are spent only on school and classroom improvements and for no other purposes.

15274.
 If it appears from the certificate of election results that 55 percent of the votes cast on the proposition of issuing bonds pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution are in favor of issuing bonds, the governing board shall cause an entry of that fact to be made upon its minutes. The governing board shall then certify to the board of supervisors of the county whose superintendent of schools has jurisdiction over the district, all proceedings had in the premises. The county superintendent of schools shall send a copy of the certificate of election results to the board of supervisors of the county.

15276.
 Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a county board of education may not order an election to determine whether bonds may be issued under this article to raise funds for a county office of education.

Article  2. Citizens' Oversight Committee

15278.
 (a) If a bond measure authorized pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution and subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution is approved, the governing board of the school district or community college shall establish and appoint members to an independent citizens’ oversight committee, pursuant to Section 15282, within 60 days of the date that the governing board enters the election results on its minutes pursuant to Section 15274.
(b) The purpose of the citizens’ oversight committee shall be to inform the public concerning the expenditure of bond revenues. The citizens’ oversight committee shall actively review and report on the proper expenditure of taxpayers’ money for school construction. The citizens’ oversight committee shall advise the public as to whether a school district or community college district is in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution. The citizens’ oversight committee shall convene to provide oversight for, but not be limited to, both of the following:
(1) Ensuring that bond revenues are expended only for the purposes described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.
(2) Ensuring that, as prohibited by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, no funds are used for any teacher or administrative salaries or other school operating expenses.
(c) In furtherance of its purpose, the citizens’ oversight committee may engage in any of the following activities:
(1) Receiving and reviewing copies of the annual, independent performance audit required by subparagraph (C) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.
(2) Receiving and reviewing copies of the annual, independent financial audit required by subparagraph (C) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.
(3) Inspecting school facilities and grounds to ensure that bond revenues are expended in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.
(4) Receiving and reviewing copies of any deferred maintenance proposals or plans developed by a school district or community college district, including any reports required by Section 17584.1.
(5) Reviewing efforts by the school district or community college district to maximize bond revenues by implementing cost-saving measures, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Mechanisms designed to reduce the costs of professional fees.
(B) Mechanisms designed to reduce the costs of site preparation.
(C) Recommendations regarding the joint use of core facilities.
(D) Mechanisms designed to reduce costs by incorporating efficiencies in schoolsite design.
(E) Recommendations regarding the use of cost-effective and efficient reusable facility plans.

15280.
 (a) The governing board of the district shall, without expending bond funds, provide the citizens’ oversight committee with any necessary technical assistance and shall provide administrative assistance in furtherance of its purpose and sufficient resources to publicize the conclusions of the citizens’ oversight committee.
(b) All committee proceedings shall be open to the public and notice to the public shall be provided in the same manner as the proceedings of the governing board. The citizens’ oversight committee shall issue regular reports on the results of its activities. A report shall be issued at least once a year. Minutes of the proceedings of the citizens’ oversight committee and all documents received and reports issued shall be a matter of public record and be made available on an Internet website maintained by the governing board.

15282.
 (a) The citizens’ oversight committee shall consist of at least seven members to serve for a term of two years without compensation and for no more than two consecutive terms. While consisting of a minimum of at least seven members, the citizens’ oversight committee shall be comprised, as follows:
(1) One member shall be active in a business organization representing the business community located within the district.
(2) One member shall be active in a senior citizens’ organization.
(3) One member shall be active in a bona fide taxpayers’ organization.
(4) For a school district, one member shall be the parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the district. For a community college district, one member shall be a student who is both currently enrolled in the district and active in a community college group, such as student government. The community college student member may, at the discretion of the board, serve up to six months after his or her graduation.
(5) For a school district, one member shall be both a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the district and active in a parent-teacher organization, such as the Parent Teacher Association or schoolsite council. For a community college district, one member shall be active in the support and organization of a community college or the community colleges of the district, such as a member of an advisory council or foundation.
(b) No employee or official of the district shall be appointed to the citizens’ oversight committee. No vendor, contractor, or consultant of the district shall be appointed to the citizens’ oversight committee. Members of the citizens’ oversight committee shall, pursuant to Sections 35233 and 72533, abide by the prohibitions contained in Article 4 (commencing with Section 1090) and Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 1125) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

Article  3. Bond Accountability

15284.
 (a) An action to obtain an order restraining and preventing any expenditure of funds received by a school district or community college district through the sale of bonds authorized by this chapter pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution and subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution may be maintained against any officer, agent, or other person acting on behalf of, that school district or community college district, by a citizen residing in the school or community college district who is assessed and is liable to pay an ad valorem tax on real property within the school or community college district, or who has paid an ad valorem tax on real property within the school or community college district within one year before the commencement of the action if it appears by the complaint or affidavits that any of the following conditions are present:
(1) An expenditure of funds received by a school district or community college district through the sale of bonds authorized by this chapter is for purposes other than those specified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.
(2) The expenditure is not in compliance with paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.
(3) That an expenditure in violation of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution will be made or will continue to be made during the litigation that would produce waste or great or irreparable injury.
(4) The governing board of a school district or community college has willfully failed to appoint the citizens’ oversight committee in violation of the requirements of Section 15278.
(b) An action brought pursuant to this section shall take special precedence over all civil matters on the calendar of the court except those matters granted equal precedence by law.
(c) The rights, remedies, or penalties established by this section are cumulative to the rights, remedies, or penalties established under other laws, including subdivision (a) of Section 526 of Chapter 3 of Title 7 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(d) If an order is obtained to restrain and prevent an expenditure of funds pursuant to subdivision (a), a court may award attorneys’ fees pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 1021.5) of Title 14 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(e) The action authorized by this section shall be known as a “School Bond Waste Prevention Action.”

15288.
 It is the intent of the Legislature that upon receipt of allegations of waste or misuse of bond funds authorized in this chapter, appropriate law enforcement officials shall expeditiously pursue the investigation and prosecution of any violation of law associated with the expenditure of those funds.

SEC. 4.

 Section 35233 of the Education Code is amended to read:

35233.
 The prohibitions contained in Article 4 (commencing with Section 1090) and Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 1125) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code are applicable to members of governing boards of school districts and to members of citizens’ oversight committees appointed by those governing boards pursuant to Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 15264) of Part 10.

SEC. 5.

 Section 72533 of the Education Code is amended to read:

72533.
 The prohibitions contained in Article 4 (commencing with Section 1090) and Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 1125) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code are applicable to members of governing boards of community college districts and to members of citizens’ oversight committees appointed by those governing boards pursuant to Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 15264) of Part 10.

SEC. 6.

 This act shall only become operative upon the passage of the “Smaller Classes, Safer Schools and Financial Accountability Act” which is contained in a proposition at the November 7, 2000, general election.