March 6 2018 | By Rome Varghese | www.bloomberg.com
EXCERPT: ... California has about $83 billion in outstanding general obligation and lease revenue debt, down by $3 billion from 2016, according to state treasurer reports.
Governor Jerry Brown's administration doesn't want to sell bonds before the proceeds are needed for different stages of construction, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the finance department. Otherwise, "you start racking up debt service costs for cash that's sitting idle," he said.
Indeed, a large increase in outstanding bonds could pressure California's rating, which at AA- from S&P Global Ratings is lower than the company's average AA rating for states but is at the highest in almost two decades.
"They could afford to issue a bit more debt than they're currently amortizing and maintain their current credit profile but not a significant amount," said Bernhard Fischer, senior fixed-income analyst at Principal Global Investors, which oversees about $8 billion in munis. Fischer said the state could probably sell about $1 billion more than it is now.
Those chafing at the pace include the California School Boards Association, which wants quicker sales of $7 billion on bonds for construction projects at elementary and high schools and $2 billion for community colleges. Brown, who opposed the measure, had wanted tighter accountability requirements before selling the debt.
So far about $433 million have been sold for the schools and about $17 million for community colleges, excluding what will be allotted from the proceeds of this week's deal. If the current pace continues, it would take more than a decade to sell the bonds, said Nancy Chaires Espinoza, a lobbyist for the association. ... To read complete article, please visit:
At a special board meeting of the California League of Bond Oversight Committees the board unanimously approved a new Business Plan for the organization.
Key features of the new Business Plan include:
• Creates a new "Membership" tier of the organization. Directors will be elected by the membership.
• Expands board membership from the current maximum of fifteen to thirty-five, which will also expand the pool of resources available. Officers will continue to be elected by the board of directors.
• Formalizes and expands the current catalog of training material, and authorizes the development of a syllabus of high-quality on-line training videos, which will be made available to CBOC's.
• Calls for strengthening the collaboration between CaLBOC and local taxpayer advocacy associations (TPA's). TPA's have the local knowledge necessary to allow them to consult with school districts prior to the passage of Prop 39 bonds, and are the logical source for taxpayer representatives on CBOC's, a requirement of Prop 39.
The Business Plan contemplates that CaLBOC will propose that the state Treasurer fund the development and roll-out of the video training plan. This proposal is in line with the recommendation of the Little Hoover Commission, which reported that the oversight of Prop 39 bonds since its passage is not adequate, and that mandatory training developed by CaLBOC should be required for all Prop 39 CBOC's.
By Lee Barnathan | www.jdsupra.com
School Construction • EXCERPT:
AB 203 – Requires the Department of Education, in establishing standards for school districts to ensure that the design and construction of school facilities are educationally appropriate and promote school safety, to provide for design flexibility by school districts. Requires the Department of Education, Division of the State Architect, and Office of Public School Construction, on or before July 1, 2018, to submit a report to the State Legislature on streamlining their application processes.
AB 618 – Permits school districts to set the monetary threshold by which they are authorized to use job order contracting. Prohibits contractors retained by a school district to assist in the development of job order contract documents from bidding on job order contracts or participating in the preparation of a bid with any job order contractor. Authorizes community college districts to use job order contracting through January 1, 2022.
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Dec 23, 2017 | By Adam Elmahrek & Benjamin Oreskes
EXCERPT: Santa Monica school district's conflict of interest investigation has grown to include three of the board's seven members, a school district official confirmed Friday. ...
Santa Monica-Malibu launched its probe after The Times revealed last month that Leon-Vazquez cast a series of votes spanning several years that included hundreds of thousands of dollars in contract approvals with her husband's clients, the financial advisory firm Keygent, LLC and TELACU Construction Management. ...
Prosecutors with the public integrity unit of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office have also opened a review.
Leon-Vazquez's husband Tony Vazquez - who is also a Santa Monica councilman and a candidate for a state Board of Equalization seat - was paid to open doors at school districts by using his political access to arrange meetings with high-level district executives, he testified in a sworn deposition obtained by The Times.
This included a meeting he set up three years ago between a TELACU executive and then-Santa Monica-Malibu Superintendent Sandra Lyon, according to the deposition. He also said that his income from TELACU started at $1,000 per month but peaked at $8,000 a month around the same time he was asked to arrange the meeting between TELACU and Lyon, according to the deposition.
Since the Times article was published, the school district's retired head of business Jan Maez acknowledged she also had a meeting with Vazquez in 2012 about financial advising and construction management involving "several other people" whose affiliations she could not recall, according to Pinsker. ...
The school district's review of potential conflicts of interest involving Mechur and Vazquez began after The Times asked the district about the business relationship. ...
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Little Hoover Commission Report
"Borrowed Money: Opportunities for Stronger Bond Oversight" February 2017
Los Angeles Civil Grand Jury Report:
"Capital Appreciation School Bond Debt: Consequences of Poor Financial Practices" Final Report 2015-2016
May 19, 2015 Conference
Don Mullinax Presentation:
Fraud Awareness: School Construction
The California League of Bond Oversight Committees (CaLBOC) is an all volunteer, non-partisan association of Citizen Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) members, current and past, who are interested in helping other CBOC members. CaLBOC was formed in 2006 by CBOC members trying to find better training to help perform their duties. CaLBOC is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.