Daniel Maruccia is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Sacramento office and co-chair of the firm's Public Finance Practice area. His areas of expertise are public finance, facilities and business, and local government. Mr. Maruccia advises clients on a variety of transactional matters affecting school districts including facilities funding, public contracts, and other business transactions. He is nationally recognized as municipal bond counsel in the Bond Buyers' Municipal Marketplace Guide, commonly referred to as "The Red Book."
Previously, Mr. Maruccia was deputy legislative counsel for the State of California, Office of Legislative Counsel. During his tenure, he provided legal services to members of the California Legislature. He regularly appeared as counsel for the Assembly and Senate Committees on Education. Mr. Maruccia drafted and analyzed legislative measures concerning public education, and prepared in-depth legal opinions on a variety of constitutional and statutory educational law matters with specific emphasis on issues regarding public education governance, administration, and students.
His articles include "Deadbeat Developers and Cruel Covenants: Collecting on Delinquent Mello-Roos Taxes" published in the Daily Journal, June 2010 and "From Sacramento With Love: Impending Bond Legislation" published in the Small School Districts' Association Newsletter, January/February 2013.
Mr. Maruccia is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, the State Bar of California, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Public Law Section of the Sacramento County Bar Association.
He received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and a B.A. from the University of San Diego.
On June 6, 2017, S&P Global Ratings (S&P) placed two of the three active municipal bond insurers, Build America Mutual Assurance Company (BAM) and National Public Finance Guarantee Corp. (NPFGC), on credit watch with negative implications.
S&P intends to review the insurers and may adjust their assigned rating based on their competitive strengths or weaknesses relative to their peers. S&P stated that its review may lead to a downgrade of BAM or NPFGC...
As Lozano Smith previously reported (see 2016 Client News Brief No. 69), on September 12, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 1029, which requires all California public agencies to report annually on any debt sold on or after January 21, 2017. In addition to the annual reporting requirement, SB 1029 requires all public agencies to implement a debt policy covering certain minimum statutory requirements. Effective January 1, 2017, a debt policy must be implemente...
In August and September 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed three Assembly bills and one Senate bill related to public finance, including bills regarding K-14 school districts' general obligation bonds and school district parcel taxes.
The specifics of each bill are described below.
Assembly Bill (AB) 2116: Requirement to Obtain Reasonable and Informed Projections of Assessed Valuations Prior to Ordering a Bond Election
Some critics have complained that too o...
Lozano Smith Alert
As Lozano Smith reported yesterday, the State Allocation Board (SAB) took unprecedented action this week authorizing eligible school districts to collect ‘Level 3’ developer fees. The litigation that was threatened and that was mentioned in our client news brief has become a reality. On the same day that SAB approved Level 3 fees, the California Building Industry Association (CBIA) filed a Petition for Writ of Mandate in Sacramento County Superior Court....
*** Update: May 27, 2016***
The litigation that was threatened and that was mentioned in the below client news brief has become a reality. Details here.
The State Allocation Board (SAB) has taken the unprecedented step of determining that state funding is no longer available for apportionment for school facilities, triggering some school districts’ eligibility to collect higher ‘Level 3’ fees for the first time ever.
The Board’s historic May 25 decision ...
The California Supreme Court recently denied a petition for review of the Court of Appeal's decision in Golden Gate Development Company, Inc. v. County of Alameda, et al. (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 760. As a result, the holdings in Golden Gate Development remain undisturbed, including that: (1) a reverse validation action is the proper procedure for challenging a parcel tax; and (2) such action must be brought within 60 days of passage of the parcel tax measure.
On Wednesday, February 10, 2016, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) issued an alert urging bond issuers to be on the lookout for calls from the Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division with settlement offers under the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative. Based on the SEC's treatment of underwriters in recent rounds of settlement negotiations (in which underwriters were given as little as one week to agr...
In light of a recent Attorney General opinion, school districts and community colleges are advised to examine their contracts with municipal finance firms for their planned future bond elections and post-election issuance services, particularly where the agency will pay for such services on a contingency basis. According to Attorney General Kamala Harris, in her Opinion No. 13-304, released January 26, 2016, a school or community college district violates California...
Since its enactment, local government has turned to the flexibility of the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 (Government Code § 53311, et seq., the "Mello-Roos law") to provide a vehicle for financing needed infrastructure, through the levying of a special tax to support issuance of bonds. However, a recent California appellate court opinion, City of San Diego v. Shapiro (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 256 (Shapiro), casts some doubt as to the constitutionalit...
On July 23, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 2274 (AB 2274), clarifying that governmental issuers of debt must file reports with the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission (CDIAC) relating to all debt issues. For purposes of CDIAC reporting, "debt issues" include the full range of financing vehicles, from lease financings for copiers to voter-approved bond issues, and everything in between. Two such reports are required for...
July 2014Number 45 On July 31, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Enforcement Division, announced that it has extended the deadline to its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative, from September 10, 2014, to December 1, 2014. The MCDC Initiative was launched earlier this year by the SEC to allow municipal issuers and underwriters to self-report potential violations of their continuing disclosure obligations. The SEC hopes that the extended deadlin...
July 2014Number 43 When the California Legislature completed final action on the annual state budget in June, it passed the main budget bill, Senate Bill (SB) 852, and sixteen budget trailer bills, including SB 854 which makes changes to monitoring and enforcement of the state's prevailing wage law by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). SB 854 took effect immediately but the changes affecting awarding bodies, contractors, and subcontractors are phased in gradually. Effective immedi...
In response to recent negative media attention and heightened political scrutiny of some local agency bonds, Governor Jerry Brown signed important public finance legislation on October 2, 2013. Assembly Bill (AB) 182, effective January 1, 2014, places certain restrictions on the issuance of bonds by school districts and community colleges. As we have brought to your attention in a prior Client News Brief, AB 182 primarily addresses controversial issues concerning th...
On August 12, 2013, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 581, effective January 1, 2014, relating to school bonds and accountability. SB 581 requires that the governing board of a school district or community college district provide its Citizen's Oversight Committee (COC) with responses, within three months, to any finding, recommendation, or concern addressed in the annual independent performance and financial audits. SB 581 also requires that such audits be s...
An important public finance bill that would potentially restrict the ability of school districts and community colleges to issue bonds is steadily making its way through the legislative process. As we have brought to your attention in a series of Client News Briefs, Assembly Bill 182 (AB 182) addresses controversial issues concerning the use of bonds that allow for the compounding of interest, including capital appreciation bonds (CABs), to pay for K-12 and community...
In Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District (March 6, 2013) __ Cal.App.4th __ (2013 WL 820593), the court of appeal granted a rehearing after its December 2012 decision relating to the important issue of whether school district parcel taxes could be structured with tiered rates. Upon rehearing, the court again held that a tiered-rate parcel tax exceeded the school district's taxing authority and was invalid because the rate structure was not uniform for all taxpayer...
An old axiom among attorneys is that bad facts make bad law. In politics a small sample of extreme circumstances may lead to sympathetic legislators making a law that seems to redress one inequity, but in turn has negative and usually unintended consequences for society. Sometimes an extreme set of facts can push the pendulum too far.
Due to a great deal of media attention in recent months, the Legislature seems poised to take action to limit the way school distri...
With the ongoing uncertainty of state funding, school districts are forced to continue exploring local funding options to address funding shortfalls. A parcel tax is an attractive option because a school district can use parcel taxes for any purpose identified in the ballot measure, including operating expenses. As a result, a parcel tax can be a significant source of unrestricted general fund dollars to support any district programs and needs.
In 2011, 18 of 27 (67%...
When a public entity receives a stop notice on one of its public works projects, it has a statutory obligation to withhold the amount of the stop notice and its "reasonable cost of any litigation." (Civ. Code, § 3186.) Many public entities have historically treated "reasonable cost" as including attorney fees. However, in Tri-State, Inc. v. Long Beach Community College District (Mar. 12, 2012) __ Cal.App.4th __ (2012 WL 764416), the court ruled that "reasonable co...
Spring is in the air, and now is the time for planning your summer construction projects. As such, we would like to remind you about two significant changes in the law on public works projects for 2012: the cap on retention and the new prevailing wage compliance monitoring requirements.
The first significant change is a new cap on the amount of retention withheld from progress payments on a public works project. Senate Bill (SB) 293 enacted a new s...
Backed by voter approval, some school districts levy parcel taxes with tiered-rate, rather than flat-rate, tax structures. Typically, tiered-rate structures have different rates for residential and non-residential use parcels, such as residential rates based on the number of housing units on each parcel, and nonresidential rates based upon the acreage of parcel. Questions have been raised about whether such structures comply with state law requiring that such taxes...
On July 29, 2011, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 80, which eliminates the stand-alone February presidential primary election and consolidates it with the statewide direct primary election in June.
Proposition 39 (Prop. 39), passed by the voters in 2000, reduces the electorate approval threshold for school district and community college district general obligation bond measures from two-thirds to 55%. However, among other restrictions, Prop. 39 l...