Budget Update: Proposition 51 Bond Sales and Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program
The Governor’s May Revision expects $3.2 billion in additional short-term revenues over the January proposal, but it also anticipates slower economic growth and mounting uncertainty, necessitating a prudent approach to the budget. Newsom’s first state budget steers billions of dollars to programs that help undocumented immigrants, new parents and low-income taxpayers.
Proposition 51 Bond Sales
In January, the Governor proposed $1.5 billion in Proposition 51 bond sales for School Facility Program apportionments and $1.2 million for 10 positions at the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC), to support the increased processing of applications and program workload. The May Revision did not make any change to this proposal. Both the Senate and Assembly adopted the Governor’s proposal for $1.5 billion in bond sales and $1.2 million for 10 OPSC positions, and therefore the item will likely not be heard by Conference Committee.
Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program
In the May Revision, the Governor reduced his January proposal from $750 million to $600 million, and specified that funding would be available over three years, with eligibility limited during the first two years to schools converting from part-day to full-day programs. The Governor also proposed to increase the state share from 50% to 75% for those districts converting to full-day programs. This item will be debated in Conference Committee due to different actions between the two houses. The Senate approved $150 million for the program, and the Assembly approved $200 million. Additionally, the Assembly approved expanding the program to also fund facilities for State Preschool programs, as well as revisions to fix the hit to baseline School Facility Program eligibility for any classrooms added through the program. The Assembly rejected the Governor’s proposal on increasing the State Share to 75%.
Legislative Update: State School Bond Bill and Affordable Housing
AB 48 (O’Donnell): Kindergarten-Community Colleges Public Education Facilities Bond Acts of 2020/2022 AB 48 would place a $13 billion school facilities bond on ballot for the March 2020 Statewide Primary Election, and another bond in an unspecified amount in November 2020. Under AB 48, the state School Facilities Program would maintain its needs-based eligibility, and the existing proportions of state matching. Enhancements to improve access to the program include:
- Additional assistance to small and rural LEAs at earlier stages of the application process.
- Modified eligibility for financial hardship by increasing the total bond capacity from below $5 million to below $10 million.
- Establishment of a modernization project supplemental grant for gyms, MPR and libraries.
- Establishment of a program to allow school districts to receive New Construction grant levels to demolish buildings that are at least 75 years old, and construct a new building on an existing school site.
- Testing and remediation of lead levels of water at school sites.
In other news, the committee discussed:
- Affordable Housing: SB 50 (Wiener) Equitable Communities Incentive
- SB 5 (Beall) Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program
- Local Governments Planning Grants Program
- CASH Environmental Committee Convenes
- Legislative Advisory Committee – Call for Nominations