SCA 3 now focuses on public records, not parcel tax vote rules

CSBA no longer sponsors the measure; seeks replacement amendment

In a move by the legislative leadership, State Constitutional Amendment 3—the amendment initially sponsored by CSBA to permit passage of school-related parcel tax ballot measures by a 55 percent rather than a two-thirds majority—is now a vehicle for a constitutional amendment related to the California Public Records and the Brown Act. CSBA no longer sponsors the proposed amendment, which now has nothing to do with parcel taxes, and association advocates are already at work on new legislative strategies.

“We are making every effort to find a replacement vehicle to reduce the voting threshold for parcel taxes,” said Dennis Meyers, assistant executive director, Governmental Relations. “We are working with Sen. Mark Leno (who authored the original version of SCA 3) to place the parcel tax constitutional amendment into another vehicle.” Meyers said that SCA 3 has been rewritten to require local agencies to absorb the costs of complying with the Public Records and Brown acts. Because requests for information that are part of the public record can be time-consuming and expensive, local agencies have argued that the state should reimburse local governments for costs of complying with this state mandate.

“There’s been considerable controversy about a budget trailer bill that made compliance with the public records act optional. This means the state would not be required to reimburse local agencies for costs of compliance,” Meyers said.  “Its proponents see the constitutional amendment as a long-term solution. “

CSBA has not yet taken a position on the amended version of SCA 3.

CSBA’s legislative advocates say this is just the most recent development in the campaign to reduce the voting requirement for passing parcel taxes. Getting a constitutional amendment through the Legislature is a difficult process, because it requires approval by two-thirds of the Assembly and Senate, and must then be approved by state voters.

Legislative leaders dramatically changed the language in SCA 3 using a controversial process that’s informally known as “gut and amend.”

Click here to read the newest version of SCA 3.



Be the first to reply

Leave a Reply