County-Sponsored Budget Reform Bill Signed Into Law
By O.C. Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Portions courtesy of Lauren Averill
Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), a former Orange County Supervisor, authored a bill to reform the budget approval process for all California counties. Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1315 into law on Friday, July 1. This bill was first proposed this year by Supervisor Todd Spitzer and sponsored by the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
SB 1315 is an important budget reform that provides a new budget approval process for the Board of Supervisors. This new process will ensure that budgets are properly vetted before being passed. Previously, a recommended budget had to be passed before the Board of Supervisors held a budget hearing, after which a final budget could be approved and adopted two weeks later. The new bill allows the Board to reform this process by only passing a budget after the budget hearing, if that budget is approved on or before June 30.
“With this new law, we can properly assess and approve the budget, without the dangerous and unnecessary step of approving an unvetted budget before the hearings,” said Supervisor Todd Spitzer. “SB 1315 will ensure the County operates with a properly vetted budget before the fiscal year begins.”
SB 1315 was approved unanimously in April by the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance with a technical amendment to ensure that County budgets approved through this process still meet current statutory requirements. The bill was then unanimously passed on the Senate Floor, in the Assembly Local Government Committee, and on the Assembly Floor. On July 1, Governor Brown signed SB 1315 into law, effective January 1, 2017, in time for the next County budget.