Legislature Passes State School Bond Bill AB 48 and Elections Transparency Bill SB 268
Rebekah Cearley, CCFC Legislative Advocate
AB 48 (O’Donnell) – State School Bond Bill
On Friday, September 13, 2019, both houses of the Legislature passed AB 48 (O’Donnell), the 2020 state school bond. The bill now goes to the Governor, who has until October 13 to sign or veto the bill.
AB 48 provides $15 billion for K-12 and college facilities:
- $9 billion for K-12
- $2 billion for community colleges
- $2 billion for UC
- $2 billion for CSU
AB 48 also:
Increases a community college district's bonding capacity from 2.5% to 4.0% of taxable property.
Establishes the requirement for an independent performance audit of community college capital outlay projects funded by the state bond. The governing board must hold at least one public hearing to solicit input from members of the public regarding a proposed state-funded project.
While CCFC worked with the author and other organizations to draft language providing more certainty on which projects would be funded, the final version of the bond did not include this specificity. It was cut during final negotiations between the Administration, Legislative leadership, and the bill’s author, Assembly Member O’Donnell.
By: Jennifer Keiper, Foundation for California Community Colleges
Service Agreement Piggyback
California Public Contract Code does not authorize districts to “piggyback” on other public agency’s service agreements, but there are exceptions when it comes to special services and services deemed as “incidental” to the purchase of personal property.
The Legislature has broadly authorized contracting for specified special services and advice in financial, economic, accounting, engineering, legal, or administrative matters without bidding if the supplier is specially trained and experienced to perform the special services required. Professional services are of nature that the district would consider the supplier’s experience, qualifications, and skills to be more important than comparative cost when selecting a supplier. It is helpful to think of these specialized functions as most commonly a) requiring a professional license, b) licensed by a regulatory body and/or c) the ability to obtain professional errors and omissions insurance.
Services such as installation of a product are allowable if incidental to the total purchase price. There has been debate around what percentage constitutes incidental, but a general rule of thumb is 10% or less of the total contract price. On a case-by-case basis or enabling district policy, incidental may be up to 50% of the total contract price – this is unfortunately another gray area in our world of procurement. More than 50% of the total contract price is not allowable. Please note that districts vary in their interpretation of what constitutes “incidental” so we encourage you to review your own district policies and consult with your legal counsel on this matter.
Office Depot Implements Import Surcharges
Effective July 26, 2019, Office Depot implemented an import surcharge on roughly 44,000 items from China. Most of the impacted items are FF&E, but the surcharge will be attached to approximately 4,000 office products – some products seeing a 400% increase in cost. Office Depot sent out communication to all users regarding the implementation of the surcharge and has flagged impacted items on their website and throughout a user’s shopping experience. The Foundation reached out to confer with UC and CSU counterparts, and this appears to be a shared challenge we are facing, as their systemwide partner, Staples, has passed along import surcharges as well.
Our existing agreement does not specifically address import surcharges, but we do require Office Depot to be transparent in stating all supplemental charges to a shipment and have asked them to visibly flag all impacted items so alternative items may be selected. As the agreement will be expiring in October 2020, we will be sure to include restrictive parameters concerning import surcharges in the next iteration of the Office Products RFP. If you are interested in serving on the development and evaluation committee, please contact Jennifer Keiper (firstname.lastname@example.org). For the time being, we encourage you to select alternative products that have not been impacted by the import surcharge to alleviate additional financial burden on your district.
The 26th Annual CCFC Conference is Coming Up!
November 11-13, 2019 in Sacramento, CA
Highlights include the release of the much anticipated CCC Facilities-Procurement Guidebook. Building on the success of the CCC Purchasing Best Practices Guide, the Foundation supported the creation of a committee dedicated to creating a handbook for facilities-specific procurement. Committee members include Mina Hernandez, Executive Director of General Services at West Valley-Mission CCD; Fred Diamond, Director of Facilities and Construction at Citrus College; Rondell Schroeder, Procurement Specialist of Fiscal Services at Mt. San Antonio College; and Yanely Pulido, Manager of Construction Procurement, Risk and Contracts at San Mateo County CCD. During their CCFC session, committee members will provide background on how and why the CCC Facilities-Procurement Guidebook was created, how districts can use this as a best practice tool moving forward, and call for volunteers to join this effort in keeping the guidebook up-to-date for years to come.
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