BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNANCE AND FINANCE
                         Senator Robert M. Hertzberg, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

                              
          
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          |Bill No:  |SB 1315                          |Hearing    |4/6/16   |
          |          |                                 |Date:      |         |
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          |Author:   |Bates                            |Tax Levy:  |No       |
          |----------+---------------------------------+-----------+---------|
          |Version:  |3/28/16                          |Fiscal:    |No       |
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          |Consultant|Weinberger                                            |
          |:         |                                                      |
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                                   Counties: budgets



          Allows a county that fulfills specified requirements to adopt a  
          final budget without first voting on a recommended budget.


           Background 

           The County Budget Act spells out the procedures that county  
          officials must follow when adopting an annual budget.  The Act  
          requires counties to use a two-step process in which a board of  
          supervisors must annually approve a recommended budget on or  
          before June 30.  The recommended budget provides interim  
          authority for county government spending during the period of  
          time after the fiscal year begins on July 1 and before the board  
          of supervisors adopts a final budget, which must happen on or  
          before October 2.

          The recommended budget must be submitted to the board by either  
          the county administrative officer or county auditor, as  
          designated by the board, on or before June 30 of each year.  
          After receiving the recommended budget, the board must consider  
          it and make any revisions, reductions, or additions.  On or  
          before June 30 of each year the board must vote to approve the  
          recommended budget, including the revisions it deems necessary  
          for the purpose of having authority to spend until the budget is  
          adopted.  With specified exceptions, a board may make revisions  
          to the recommended budget until a final budget is adopted.  







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          On or before September 8 of each year, state law requires the  
          board to make the recommended budget available to the public and  
          publish a notice in a newspaper stating that:
                 The recommended budget documents are available to  
               members of the public.

                 On the date stated in the notice, not fewer than 10 days  
               after the recommended budget documents are available, and  
               at a specified time and place, the board will conduct a  
               public hearing on the recommended budget.

                 Any member of the public may appear at the hearing and  
               be heard regarding any item in the recommended budget or  
               for the inclusion of additional items.

                 All proposals for revisions must be submitted in writing  
               to the clerk of the board of supervisors before the close  
               of the public hearing.

          State law specifies the manner in which a board of supervisors  
          must conduct a hearing on the recommended budget and requires  
          that after the hearing's conclusion, the board must, by  
          resolution, adopt the budget as finally determined not later  
          than October 2 of each year.

          Orange County officials assert that it is not necessary to  
          require a county board of supervisors to vote on a recommended  
          budget if the county chooses to adopt a final budget before the  
          July 1 start of the fiscal year.   They want the Legislature to  
          allow a county board of supervisors that adopts a final budget  
          on or before June 30 to publish a recommended budget without  
          having to take an official action to approve it.


           Proposed Law

           Senate Bill 1315 allows a county, in lieu of approving a  
          recommended budget pursuant to state law, to instead direct the  
          publication of a recommended budget for the purposes of  
          conducting a budget hearing without authorizing spending  
          pursuant to the recommended budget until the budget is adopted.

          To use the budget adoption procedures authorized by SB 1315, a  








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          county board of supervisors must:
                 Make the recommended budget available to the public on  
               or before May 30.

                 Publish a notice on or before May 30 stating that the  
               recommended budget is available to members of the public  
               and specifying the time and place at which the board will  
               conduct a public hearing on the recommended budget.

                 Conduct a public hearing on the budget on or before June  
               20.

                 Adopt the budget by resolution after the conclusion of  
               the hearing and not later than June 30.

          SB 1315 requires that, on or before May 30 of any year in which  
          a board of supervisors uses the budget adoption procedures  
          enacted by the bill, the board must set forth a budget adoption  
          schedule that complies with specified statutory requirements.


           State Revenue Impact

           No estimate.


           Comments

           1.  Purpose of the bill  .  In most counties, the recommended  
          budget that a board of supervisors must vote to approve annually  
          by June 30 governs county spending until a final budget is  
          adopted later in the fiscal year.  However, if a county adopts a  
          budget before the fiscal year begins, the initial recommended  
          budget never has any practical effect beyond serving as a  
          baseline for the board's deliberations on, and approval of, a  
          final budget.  In counties that don't rely on a recommended  
          budget for spending authority, it doesn't make sense to require  
          a separate board of supervisors vote on the recommended budget.   
          SB 1315 creates an alternative budget approval process that  
          allows a county board of supervisors to publish a recommended  
          budget, in lieu of voting on it, if the board adopts a final  
          budget by June 30.  SB 1315 does not require any county to alter  
          its current budget process, but simply provides an alternative  
          process that counties can choose.








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          2.   Unintended consequences  .  Although SB 1315 is intended to  
          require a county that uses its alternative procedures to follow  
          existing laws governing the adoption of a final budget.   
          However, its language could be misinterpreted to allow a county  
          to adopt a final budget simply by adopting a resolution, without  
          following most of the requirements that are imposed by current  
          law.  To avoid unintended consequences, the Committee may wish  
          to consider amending SB 1315 to specify that, under the  
          alternative process authorized by the bill:
                 A hearing on a recommended budget must be held at least  
               ten days after the recommended budget is made available to  
               the public, and

                 A final budget must be adopted pursuant to all of the  
               statutory requirements that current law imposes on the  
               adoption of a final budget.


           Support and  
          Opposition   (3/31/16)


           Support  :  Orange County; Urban Counties of California.


           Opposition  :  Unknown.



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