SACRAMENTO – Bond oversight legislation authored by Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, has sailed through the Assembly and is headed to Governor Brown.
Senate Bill 341 (SB 341) would improve public oversight of school facility bonds by allowing Bond Oversight Committee Members to serve up to twelve years on the Committee. Current law caps the term of service at six years.
“The Assembly’s action is great news for transparency and accountability in the school facility bond process,” said Wilk. “In the last election there were 180 school bond measures on local ballots in California. That translates to billions of dollars tacked onto local property tax bills had they all passed. Having qualified and experienced experts on school facility bond oversight committees will ensure projects come in on time and on budget – which is good for the taxpayers.”
School facility bonds can be approved by a simple majority of voters rather than two-thirds approval required for other bonds. To compensate for the lower vote threshold, a number of oversight provisions exist, including the establishment of a bond oversight committee (BOC). The BOC consists of at least seven members including a taxpayer, PTA member, and senior representative. An annual financial and performance audit is also mandated, and the BOC is regularly required to report to the school district board.
The governor has 30 days to take action on the bill.