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Sponsor: State school bond will not be on November ballot

Posted: August 21, 2014 1:30 p.m.
Updated: August 21, 2014 1:30 p.m.

A statewide school facilities bond will not be on the November ballot due to a lack of support from the governor, its sponsors said this week.

In a statement on her website Tuesday, Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, said that her legislation, Assembly Bill 2235, will be moved to the state Senate inactive file despite having wide support as it moved through the state Legislature.

But Buchanan said the bill did have one notable detractor: Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

“The governor made it clear to the Speaker of the Assembly on Thursday that he does not want a school bond on the same ballot as the water bond and his Rainy Day Fund proposition,” she said in a statement. “We have no commitment of his support for a future bond.”

Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, criticized Brown’s decision not to support a school facilities bond.

“The governor has made it clear since the beginning that he only wanted to focus on one issue at a time,” said Hagman in a statement. “First, it was his ill-conceived high-speed rail plan; then it was the water bond.

“However, now that we have successfully passed the water bond and Governor Brown has finally turned his attention to the school facilities bond, he has chosen to neglect the needs of our students that are suffering from having to learn in overcrowded and dilapidated schools,” Hagman continued.

Brown’s position not to support the bond came “even though it has received unanimous support throughout the legislative process,” Hagman said.

Santa Clarita Valley school officials said earlier this month that a statewide bond would help them leverage their own dollars further.

Almost every Santa Clarita Valley school district has successfully passed a bond since 2008 and another, the Saugus Union School District, is putting a proposed $148 million bond up for a vote in the Nov. 4 election.

“In our meetings with the Department of Finance, they stress that the governor questions what role, if any, the state should play in funding school facilities,” Buchanan said.
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