School Bond Measures

 

Gov. Brown says yes to school finance reforms inspired by CPC study


August 18, 2016

SACRAMENTO — It’s rare that a think-tank study produces real reform, but it happened today when Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill designed to stop school officials before they recklessly spend again.

Assembly Bill 2116 began one year ago with a July 2015 California Policy Center study.

For the Kids: California voters must become wary of borrowing billions from wealthy investors for educational construction,” by CPC researcher Kevin Dayton, tracked passage over 14 years of more than 900 California school bonds worth $146.1 billion.

Inspired by that CPC study, Rep. James Gallagher (R-Sacramento Valley) drafted a bill to limit the ability of school districts to take on debt through new bonds – even authorizing county auditors to stop spending if bond “funds are not being spent appropriately.”

“I am pleased that the governor saw the need to increase oversight of school bonds,” Gallagher said in a press release. “Borrowing for bonds has exploded in the last decade, and it is more important than ever that school construction bond funds be fiscally sound and their financing mechanisms transparent.”

In addition to waste and abuse in the management of those school bonds, Dayton found another problem: the surge in school bond debt has produced a massive “wealth shift” upward – from taxpayers of relatively modest means to “wealthy investors who buy state and local government bonds as a relatively safe investment that generates tax-exempt income through interest payments.”

Gallagher’s bill implements California Policy Center recommendations to kill one of the most pernicious municipal finance practices. The new law limits the ability of bond advisers to exaggerate property values when calculating the taxpayer burden.

“We dedicated tremendous resources to producing this study, and we were naturally pleased to see Rep. Gallagher act on it with such energy,” said Ed Ring, CPC’s president. “We’re especially delighted that the state’s school kids have been placed ahead of the interests of consultants, government unions, politicians and Wall Street banking interests.”

“It’s great to see intellectual research and analysis turn into practical improvements in law,” said Dayton.

ABOUT ANALYST KEVIN DAYTON
Kevin Dayton is a policy analyst for the California Policy Center, an influential writer, and the author of frequent postings about generally unreported California state and local policy issues on the California Policy Center’s Prosperity Forum and Union Watch, as well as on his own website LaborIssuesSolutions.com. Dayton is a 1992 graduate of Yale University. Follow him on Twitter at @DaytonPubPolicy.

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA POLICY CENTER
The California Policy Center is a non-partisan public policy think tank providing information that elevates the public dialogue on vital issues facing Californians, with the goal of helping to foster constructive progress towards more equitable and sustainable management of California’s public institutions. Learn more at CaliforniaPolicyCenter.org.

 

California Policy Center
Contact: Will Swaim
Will@CalPolicyCenter.org
(714) 573-2231

EQUALITY

On Anniversary of Equality Act Introduction, HRC Announces Support of More Than 80 Major Corporations

Over the last year, this crucial federal non-discrimination legislation has gained bipartisan support and unprecedented endorsements from the business community

WASHINGTON – Today, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the introduction of the Equality Act, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced that Adobe Systems Inc., Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Alcoa Inc., Automatic Data Processing Inc., Bank of America Corp., Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Cargill Inc., Chevron Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Darden Restaurants Inc., Delhaize America Inc., InterContinental Hotels Group Americas, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kenneth Cole Productions Inc., Pure Storage Inc., TIAA, Uber Technologies Inc., WhiteWave Foods Co., Williams-Sonoma Inc., Xerox Corp., and Office Depot Inc. have joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. Now including more than 80 major employers, the complete list of coalition members that have officially endorsed the bipartisan Equality Act can be found below.

Introduced one year ago tomorrow – one month after the historic Supreme Court marriage equality ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges –  the Equality Act would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our existing civil rights laws. It would provide clear, permanent, and equal protections under federal law for all Americans in vital areas of life, like employment, access to public spaces, housing, credit, education, jury service, and federally-funded programs.

“These leading companies are joining a bipartisan chorus in Congress and the vast majority of Americans who support ending unfair and unjust discrimination against LGBTQ people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “They are stepping forward to say that all Americans should be able to live free from fear of discrimination and have a fair chance to earn a living. Momentum is on our side, and we will not rest until the Equality Act is the law of the land.”

Discrimination is a real and persistent problem for too many LGBTQ Americans. HRC polling has found that nearly two-thirds of self-identified LGBTQ Americans report experiencing discrimination — including people like Carter Brown, a transgender man who lost his job after he was outed by his colleagues. Currently, 50 percent of LGBTQ Americans live in states where they are at risk of being fired, denied housing, or refused service because of who they are. There is no federal law explicitly protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, and thirty-one states still lack fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

Polling released this year by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that support for a bill like the Equality Act topped 70 percent nationally, including a majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. PRRI’s groundbreaking survey included 42,000 interviews in 50 states and found majority support for the Equality Act in all 50 states.

Hillary Clinton has called the Equality Act her “highest priority,” while in contrast, Donald Trump has pledged to sign a bill that would put LGBTQ people at even greater risk of discrimination nationwide.

Now co-sponsored by 218 members of Congress, the Equality Act was introduced last year by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ); and Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI) and John Lewis (D-GA). The measure also has bipartisan support, including from Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Representative Bob Dold (R-IL).

HRC first launched the Business Coalition for the Equality Act in March of this year. With combined operations in all 50 states, headquarters spanning 23 states, and $2.6 trillion in revenue, the companies that now make up the coalition employ over 5.6 million people in the United States.

Members of HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act:

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
Accenture
Adobe Systems Inc.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Airbnb Inc.
Alcoa Inc.
Amazon.com Inc.
American Airlines
American Eagle Outfitters Inc.
Apple Inc.
Automatic Data Processing Inc.
Bank of America Corp.
Best Buy Co. Inc.
Biogen
Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp.
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.
Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc.
Brown-Forman Corp.
CA Technologies Inc.
Caesars Entertainment Corp.
Capital One Financial Corp.
Cardinal Health Inc.
Cargill Inc.
Chevron Corp.
Choice Hotels International Inc.
Cisco Systems Inc.
Coca-Cola Co.
Corning Inc.
CVS Health Corp.
Darden Restaurants Inc.
Delhaize America Inc.
Diageo North America
Dow Chemical Co.
Dropbox Inc.
EMC Corp.
Facebook Inc.
Gap Inc.
General Electric Co.
General Mills Inc.
Google Inc.
Hershey Co.
Hilton Worldwide Inc.
HP Inc.
Hyatt Hotels Corp.
IBM Corp.
Intel Corp.
InterContinental Hotels Group Americas
Johnson & Johnson
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kellogg Co.
Kenneth Cole Productions Inc.
Levi Strauss & Co.
Marriott International Inc.
MasterCard Inc.
McGraw Hill Financial
Microsoft Corp.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Monsanto Co.
Moody’s Corp.
Nike Inc.
Office Depot Inc.
Oracle Corp.
Orbitz Worldwide Inc.
PepsiCo Inc.
Pure Storage Inc.
QUALCOMM Inc.
Replacements Ltd.
Salesforce
Sodexo Inc.
Symantec Corp.
Target Corp.
Tech Data Corp.
TIAA
T-Mobile USA Inc.
Twitter Inc.
Uber Technologies Inc.
Unilever
WeddingWire Inc.
WhiteWave Foods Co.
Williams-Sonoma Inc.
Xerox Corp.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.