The California Assembly voted unanimously Monday to advance a bill to clear up legal concerns that have prevented the issuance of more than $770 million of qualified school construction bonds.

Federal stimulus legislation authorized $11 billion of QSCBs, including $773.5 million for the state government to allocate. The California Department of Education allocated $700 million to local school districts through a lottery, while the California School Financing Authority was charged with distributing the remaining $73.5 million in allocation to charter schools.

Bond lawyers put the kibosh on any issuance, according to a legislative staff analysis, because of concerns that the state agencies had no statutory authority to allocate the QSCB allocation.

SB 205, which cleared the Assembly without a no vote, would provide a statutory ratification for the QSCB allocations that were made last year.

The legislation must now clear the Senate. An amendment to the bill makes it an urgency measure, which requires approval in a two-thirds vote and would take effect immediately upon signing by the governor.

Senate Democrats included the measure in a 27-bill jobs package they say will help jump-start the state's economy. They say the QSCB legislation would create more than 11,000 jobs.

The CSFA has appointed Robert W. Baird & Co. as senior manager of its QSCB charter school bond program.

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