Bond Election Countdown: Many Things Have Changed, but Election Deadlines Remain the Same

Lozano Smith Client News Brief
May 2020
Number 43

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Governor has issued a series of executive orders, each addressing impacts of the pandemic. While striving to make sense of and comply with these orders and the countless local, state, and national public health orders and recommendations, it is easy for public agencies to lose sight of looming deadlines, especially when so many administrative timelines have been suspended or extended.

Despite the pandemic-and maybe even as a result of the pandemic as public agency leadership begins to contemplate a future need for a physical environment that can accommodate potential future social distancing guidelines-facilities needs are still pressing for many public agencies. Some public agencies are incurring substantial costs related to preparedness and public health issues, while at the same time seeing decreases in tax revenue. For many public agencies, these factors may exacerbate the need for facilities funding, by both decreasing other available funds and increasing the need for facilities.
Those public agencies still considering a bond or parcel tax measure for the Presidential Election on November 3, 2020, should be aware that the process and deadlines to place a bond or parcel tax measure on the ballot remain unchanged. In order to place a bond measure on the ballot this November, county elections officials must receive an agency’s call and order of election by August 7, 2020.

On May 8, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order N-64-20, requiring that every Californian who is eligible to vote in the November 3, 2020 election receive a vote-by-mail ballot. The Executive order did not, however, make any changes to the election calendar, or the deadlines or process for placing a local measure on the ballot. Because upcoming election deadlines are fast approaching, it is critical to have your financing team and consultants in place. If you have any questions or need assistance regarding your measures, compliance with laws, or about navigating a future bond campaign, please contact a member of our Public Finance Practice Group.

Lozano Smith's Public Finance Practice Group

Lozano Smith’s Public Finance Practice Group is comprised of attorneys who are recognized experts in municipal finance and who regularly assist California public entities, including cities, counties, school districts, and special districts, with the issuance of municipal debt vehicles. If you have any questions about the issuance of municipal securities, or any matter related to public finance generally, please contact one of our eight offices located statewide and ask to speak to a member of our Public Finance Practice Group.

Lozano Smith provides bond counsel, disclosure counsel, and special financing counsel services and advice to California public agencies. Lozano Smith conducts bond workshops across the state, covering topics that include:

  • Elections: Timelines and Requirements

  • Bonds: Types, Validity and Tax Treatment

  • Roles and Responsibilities: Committees, Consultants and Counsel

  • Disclosure and Record-Keeping: Regulations and Legal Considerations

  • Statewide Bonds: Matching and Impact

Related Resources

The legal and practical realities of the current crisis are ever-changing. In our continued effort to equip public agencies with useful insights, we have compiled a suite of links to several resource and guidance documents and webpages available from the federal and state governments regarding COVID-19. You can access them here:
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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.