State Budget is Kind to Court Facilities Program
For the first time in several years the Administrative Office of the Court’s ambitious $5 Billion court construction and modernization program has not been harmed by the State Budget. The past several budgets, when the state was facing significant and painful budget revenue deficits, the Legislature and Governor took or borrowed nearly $2 Billion from the court construction and modernization program, causing the cancellation of some projects and delays in several others. This year’s budget did not take any additional funds, actually returned some the funds previously taken, and appropriated new funds into the program. The budget returned $130 Million borrowed in prior years and appropriated $40 Million in new money. Over $200 Million is expected to be returned over the next two budget cycles. Most of the money taken, however, is gone and expected to never be returned.
AIACC-Sponsored “Peer Review” Legislation Dropped
AB 2192 (Melendez), the AIACC-sponsored legislation to create a pilot program for three local jurisdictions to implement an alternative plan review process for residential design, has been dropped and is now dead. While the author’s office and the AIACC were confident we would be able to move this bill out of the Legislature and to the Governor for his consideration, the good question the author asked was why move the bill if no local jurisdiction has been found that is willing to implement the alternative review process?
Our bill would have implemented a pilot project in three local jurisdictions that would have allowed residential plans prepared by architects to be reviewed by another architect, and that “peer review” would have been in lieu of plan review by the local jurisdiction. Thus, a building permit would have been issued upon the submittal of “peer reviewed” plans.
Many groups opposed this bill, including the California Building Officials, California Architects Board (oppose unless amended), and several interior design groups.
We, and the author’s office, were unable to find any local building department interested in becoming a part of this pilot project, causing the author to question the need to move the bill.
Initially, the bill would have given all local building departments the authority to implement this alternative plan review program, at its discretion, but we had to amend it to a pilot program for three jurisdictions in order to get the bill out of the State Assembly, which we did on a 72-4 vote. Unfortunately, with that amendment, we needed to find local jurisdictions in a short amount of time who were willing to be a part of this program, and we were not able to do that.
AIACC staff will work with the AIA Members on the AIACC Advocacy Advisory Committee to consider whether we should work with local jurisdictions in an effort to try this again next year.