Members of the California construction industry should be keeping an eye out on the polls, but not necessarily because of the presidential election. Among the other considerations Californians will see on the ballot will be Proposition 51. If passed, those contractors subs and suppliers working in California will see a spike in public spending on construction, specifically with California schools. With the passage of Prop 51, California schools would see $9B in bonds become available for construction on public schools, charter schools, vocational schools, and community colleges. Considering the presidential election has also brought up issues in construction, this has been one interesting cycle for members of the California construction industry.
If passed, Proposition 51 would provide California schools with $9B for the construction and renovation of their facilities. Supporters of the act cite deteriorating facilities and overcrowding as some of the primary reasons the proposition is necessary. According to yeson51.com, a site encouraging the passage of Prop 51, the proposition provides “a fiscally responsible way to fix schools, with tough taxpayer accountability.” Under the proposition, $7B would be allocated for K-12 public school facilities and $2B would go toward community college facilities.
There is plenty of opposition to Prop 51, though. California Governor Jerry Brown has been one of the most vocal detractors of the proposition. The governor argues that Proposition 51 lacks direction and that the state’s legislature would be better suited to address the declining state of California’s school facilities. He notes that there is no provision that would allocate the funds to the schools and areas that need them the most. The LA Times agrees, arguing that the system for funding school construction should be fixed before more money is thrown at the issue.
Considering its purpose is to support education, Proposition 51 is likely to be passed. However, as many commentators note, looks may be deceiving – like with the strategically named Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act. Regardless, the impact of Prop 51’s passage would certainly be felt by the California construction industry. With public funds becoming more available, contractors, subs, and suppliers who regularly work on California public projects would have plenty of opportunity. The consequences of Prop 51 may not be a net positive for the state, but California’s construction workforce will welcome it with open arms.
For more on the California construction industry and lien laws, check out our other California posts and our California Lien Law FAQs. For more on changing construction laws across the country, head over to the blog’s New Legislation tag.