Assembly OKs bill preventing school bond conflicts

Bill would ban school districts, other local agencies from promoting bonds with taxpayer money


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Lawmakers have advanced a bill that would prevent taxpayer money from being used to promote local bond measures.

It is illegal for school districts to use tax dollars to hire political consultants to pass bond measures. But critics say municipal finance firms include campaigning in their package of bond services when they contract with the districts. They recover the costs through other fees.

The legislation from Republican Assemblyman Don Wagner of Irvine would prohibit school districts and other local agencies from contracting with firms that provide campaign services for bond measures.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer has asked the attorney general to issue a legal opinion about whether districts have illegally contracted to promote bond measures.

The Assembly approved AB621 Monday on a 51-10 vote, sending it to the Senate.