legislation

Current joint use legislation

A new bill from California Assemblymember Tom Torlakson would create safe places for physical activity by making it easier for communities to build new joint-use facilities. Although there is currently a state program to finance the creation of new joint-use facilities from school bonds, stringent requirements make it difficult for communities with fewer resources to access the funding. AB 346 would reduce those barriers.

AB 346 is sponsored by California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing. Unlike existing policy, if passed, Torlakson’s bill will:

  • give more flexibility to communities to raise the local share of funds needed to draw down state funding.
  • allow joint-use funds to go toward creating outdoor facilities, which will help ensure the new projects can be used for physical activity.

For more information on AB 346, contact Marty Martinez, joint use statewide task force member and Policy Director at California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, at mmartinez@cpehn.org or (510) 832-1160.

Previous joint use legislation

SB 35 (Torlakson) — 2007

  • Would have expanded the definition of joint use to include a career technical building or shop and physical education or outdoor recreational site.
  • Expands the types of partnerships allowed under joint use agreements.
  • Allows joint use partners to consider equipment for career and technical shops, up to 10%, as part of the joint use funding requirement (currently at 25%).

Governor’s veto message of SB 35
The Governor’s primary concern was a lack of funding for future joint use projects, which are not currently connected to any future bond funds.

SB 1677 (Torlakson) — 2006

  • Would have expanded the definition of joint use to include a career technical building or shop, science and technology laboratory, science center, historical or cultural education center, performing arts center, physical education or outdoor recreational site development, parking lot, and child wellness center.
  • Would have expanded the partnership options to include private entities.
  • Would have allowed school districts to include the value of the property or land for the joint use project as a portion of the contribution requirement.
  • Would have lessened the requirement that joint use partners have to contribute at least 25% of the contribution and would have allowed for the inclusion of equipment, consumable materials and personnel as part of the contribution.

Governor’s veto message of SB 1677
In the Governor’s veto message, he stated the following concerns:

  • The bill would undermine the fiscal responsibility of joint use partners.
  • It allowed for the funding of projects that are lower-priority and not expressly dedicated to the educational achievement of students.
  • Allowing joint use facilities to be built on private lands would jeopardize the tax-exempt nature of the bond proceeds.

The above information was provided by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network.

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