Kamp, 033183 CAAGO, AGO 82-706

Docket Nº:AGO 82-706
Case Date:March 31, 1983
Court:California
 
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JOHN K. VAN DE KAMP Attorney General
Deputy Attorney General
AGO 82-706
No. 82-706
California Attorney General Opinion
Office of the Attorney General State of California
MARCH 31, 1983
         THE HONORABLE FLOYD R. B. VIAU, COUNTY COUNSEL, COUNTY OF FRESNO, has requested an opinion on the following question:          Would the borrowing of funds by a school district under Education Code sections 17900 through 17903, to retrofit school buildings for energy conservation purposes, require assent of the electorate under section 18 of article XVI of the California Constitution?          CONCLUSION          The borrowing of funds by a school district under Education Code sections 17900 through 17903, to retrofit school buildings for energy conservation purposes, would require assent of the electorate under section 18 of article XVI of the California Constitution.          ANALYSIS          The National Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1978 (Pub.L. 95-619) established a matching grants program for implementing energy conservation measures, designed to reduce energy consumption and associated costs of conventional energy sources, within public schools, nonprofit hospitals, local governments, and public care facilities. By chapter 626 of the Statutes of 1981, the Legislature added part 10.5, sections 17900 through 17903, to the Education Code authorizing school districts to borrow funds from federal or state regulated financial institutions for the purpose of financing design and construction costs associated with retrofitting school buildings to become more energy efficient. Specifically, section 17900 provides as follows:
"The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the interest of the state and of the people thereof for the state to aid school districts and community college districts in finding cost-effective methods of conserving energy in school buildings maintained by the districts. The Legislature also finds that while many districts may desire to participate in energy conservation programs designed to reduce the steadily rising costs of meeting the energy needs of school buildings, that the costs involved in
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