SIA Cabinet Report
Friday, April 05, 2013
A legislative legal opinion released Thursday casts further doubt on a proposal by the governor to include as part of the state’s constitutional funding guarantee for schools next year $450 million earmarked for energy efficiency projects.
The idea, which Brown included in his January budget, has already drawn sharp criticism from the non-partisan Legislative Analyst, which warned earlier this year that the money could not be counted in the school funding guarantee because it had been specifically identified as “special funds” as part of a voter initiative.
At a budget hearing Thursday, state Sen. Rod Wright, D-Los Angeles, read into the record what he said were the operative sections of a legal opinion he had asked for on the question from the Legislative Counsel’s office.
“We conclude that money transferred into the Clean Energy Jobs Creation Fund are true special fund money and not general fund for the purposes of Proposition 98,” Wright said. “Because the Legislature is clearly restricted as to the purpose for which those monies may be appropriated, the money transferred would not be included in the calculation or in meeting the Proposition 98 requirement.”
At issue is nearly $1 billion expected to be generated annually as a result of the passage last November of Proposition 39 – which closed a tax loophole that benefitted out-of-state companies doing business in California.