SACRAMENTO, CA – A new bill, SB 483, jointly authored by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and Senator Steve Glazer (D – Orinda) would authorize the statewide sale of $2 billion in general obligation bonds earmarked for California public university and college facilities.
The bill requires universities or colleges to submit five-year capital outlay plans that prioritize seismic retrofitting in buildings identified as high priority. Spending choices would emerge through recommendations from governing boards for both CSU and UC systems and will be reviewed in public hearings during the legislative process. Voters would decide on the bonds in the 2018 general election.
“California’s public colleges and universities are a source of great pride to our state, but unfortunately we’ve allowed their physical facilities to fall into disrepair,” said Allen, who chairs the Senate Education Committee. “This bond measure will provide a much-needed and overdue investment in our higher education infrastructure.”
According to the UC and CSU, only half of their capital needs are met for short-term and long-term projects. Funds from the most recent $1.6 billion higher education bond, approved by voters in 2006, have been depleted.
“This measure provides important financial backing for critical upgrades to our libraries and classrooms on college campuses,” Glazer added. “And I believe voters should be given a chance to continue the proud legacy of supporting our universities and colleges.”
A 2016 survey on higher education by the Public Policy Institute of California showed broad support – 65 percent – for higher education construction projects.
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California State Senator Ben Allen represents the 26th Senate District, which consists of the Westside, Hollywood and coastal South Bay communities of Los Angeles County.
Follow Senator Allen on Twitter: @BenAllenCA; Facebook: www.facebook.com/BenAllenCalifornia; and Instagram: @BenAllenCA.