03.06.09: AB 844 Request for Action
By David Walrath
The Small School Districts’ Association (SSDA) is sponsoring state mandate reimbursement reform legislation in the 2009 legislative session. Our sponsored legislation, Assembly Bill 844, is being authored by Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines. This legislation is a step toward providing relief to school districts on mandated costs and greater flexibility on implementing mandates when they are enacted by the governor.
Mandate reform will be a topic to be considered this year in the budget committees as well as in the policy committees. SSDA believes that school districts should be provided relief from mandates and given the flexibility to determine whether they do or do not want to implement a mandate if that mandate is not funded.
SSDA also believes that school districts should not be required to go through the time-consuming claiming process in order to be reimbursed for the cost of the mandate. SSDA believes that state mandates should not be operative until full funding has been provided for the mandate.
SSDA also believes that there needs to be a mandate review process. AB 844 will be working on both of these issues as well as, in subsequent amendments, a schedule to repeal sunsets in existing mandates in order to ensure there is a full legislative hearing to determine if a mandate ought to continue or ought to be repealed.
Following is a draft resolution that SSDA requests your school district consider and pass as appropriate. If the decision is made to pass the resolution, please send it to your State Representatives.
Thank you for your consideration. SSDA looks forward to reforming the current mandate and imposition process.
Draft State Mandate Resolution on Assembly Bill 844
The _____________________ School District has adopted a support position on Assembly Bill 844 (Villines). AB 844 would reform the state mandate process for school districts.
WHEREAS, the California Constitution Article XIIIB Section 6 requires the state to reimburse school districts for new or increased costs mandated by the state; and
WHEREAS, the San Diego Superior Court found in its decision on CSBA, etal. vs. State of California, that the state was not making such reimbursements; and
WHEREAS, the Court found “the state’s practice of deferring payment to pursue state mandated programs is an unreasonable and unconstitutional restriction on the school districts and county offices of education constitutional rights under Article XIIIB Section 6 of the California Constitution;” and
WHEREAS, the current statutory scheme for developing the cost estimates to reimburse mandated costs is a scheme that results in a mandate being operative for three or more years before funding can even be first provided; and
WHEREAS, reform is needed in the state mandate reimbursement process; and
WHEREAS, a review of such mandates is in order to comply with the California Constitution; and
WHEREAS, AB 844 would provide reform by ensuring a mandate would not be operative until full funding was provided for that mandate;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the ____________________ School District has adopted this resolution of support for AB 844 and the reforms contained within AB 844.
The _______________ School District urges its State Assembly and State Senate representatives to support AB 844 and to vote for this mandate reform legislation.