New Prop. 39 Bond Accountability Requirements for School Districts and Community College Districts

Lozano Smith Client News Brief
September 2013
Number 53

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 submitted to the COC at the same time as they are submitted to the school district or community college district, and no later than March 31 of each year. Currently, the law does not require school districts and community college districts to submit responses to such audits, and only requires that such audits be delivered to the COC by March 31 of each year.

A COC is required to be created pursuant to Article XIII A of the California Constitution to provide oversight on the issuance of any school bonds issued under Prop 39. Prop 39 allows for passage of a bond for the construction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities by a 55% majority vote if the proposition includes specified accountability requirements. A COC is charged with informing the public about expenditures of Prop 39 bond proceeds, reviewing the audits, and inspecting school facilities financed with Prop 39 bond proceeds. A COC also reviews and recommends cost saving measures for school districts and community college districts.

If you have any questions regarding how SB 581 will impact the substance and delivery of annual audits, content of audit responses, or issuance of Prop. 39 bonds, please feel free to contact one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or download our Client News Brief App.
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As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.