A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Suspense File…
AB 155 was heard today in the Senate Appropriations Committee, where it was sent to the Suspense File due to state costs associated with the bill.
Assembly Member Mendoza presented the new amendments to the bill, which authorize a local agency to override the decision of the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission (CDIAC) with a majority vote. Because a local governing body could only override the decision of the Commission when the local agencies’ request is denied, we anticipate that the Commission would only offer conditional approvals. Conditional approvals could render a bankruptcy filing impractical if the conditions preclude the fiscal restructuring necessary to address insolvency. While Assembly Member Mendoza indicated that he believed that these amendments would address local agencies’ concerns, a long line of opponents waited in the committee room to testify against the bill.
There were a couple of twists to this story, however. Senator Cox, the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Senate Local Government Committee, indicated that he had requested that Senate Rules Committee consider sending the bill back to the Senate Local Government Committee for consideration, since the amendments were so substantive. He anticipated that the Rules Committee would hear that request later this week.
Next, coming as a surprise to nearly everyone in the room, when asked if he had any comments, the Department of Finance representative indicated that the Administration opposed the bill due to the administrative delays associated with the bill could exacerbate the fiscal situation for effected local governments. (This statement was clarified later by Administration representatives to mean that DOF was opposed.)
The Senate Appropriations Committee will decide on Thursday what moves from the Suspense File. We’ll keep you posted on the latest… it’s certainly been an interesting ride so far.