Climate Action and School Bonds Slated for the 2024 November Ballot in California

Two bond measures–with important repercussions for the state, our climate future, and architects–will be on the ballot this November 2024, through agreements by State of California legislative leaders in the final days of June, as the legislature faced ballot deadlines, budget deficits, and fittingly record heat.

The first, the “Safe Drinking Water, Wildfire Prevention, Drought Preparedness, and Clean Air Bond Act of 2024,” an agreement amended into SB 867 (Allen), designates funding for climate and environmental projects in three areas: rising sea levels; drinking water and groundwater upgrades; and wildfire and forest programs.

The bond designates that 40% of the funds benefit disadvantaged communities, although some lawmakers assert that the bill’s financial definition of “disadvantaged communities” was too wide and does not go far enough in protecting the most vulnerable Californians and neighborhoods.

The second raises monies for school facilities and was supported by AIA California as it worked its way through the legislature as AB 247 (Muratsuchi), the “Education finance: school facilities: Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Schools and Local Community College Public Education Facilities Modernization, Repair, and Safety Bond Act of 2024.” If passed by California voters, it will set aside $8.5 billion for new construction and modernization of K-12 schools and $1.5 billion for community colleges.

The California constitution allows for the Legislature to place bonds on the general or primary election ballot that have been passed by a 2/3 vote of all members elected to each house of the Legislature and signed by the Governor. The measures must receive majority support of all votes cast in the November election to pass.

Click for the here for the AP News; here for coverage on The Hill; here for LA Times coverage; or here for the Cal Matters story.

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