A bill to authorize $5 billion of lease-revenue bonds for courthouses awaits action in the California Assembly after clearing the Senate last week.

The bill calls for bonds to finance the construction of approximately 40 major capital court projects. Increased fines and court fees would provide the funds for debt service, according to the sponsor, Senate President pro tempore Don Perata, D-Oakland.

“California’s courthouses are in a state of crisis. Many have outdated and unsafe facilities,” he said in a statement. “By using a lease revenue bond, we can pay for this without taking money from the state’s general fund.”

The bill passed May 29 on a 28-to-8 vote. As a lease-revenue bond, the legislation requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature but does not have to be approved by voters.

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