Part of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Strategic Growth Plan is a school construction bond proposal authored by Senator George Runner (R-AntelopeValley)which will invest financially in the growth and maintenance of California schools over the next 10 years. “Our schools, roads, freeways, levees, and water systems are so critical to our every day lives that it is time we enact a long-term plan to invest in California’s future but we must do so in the most cost-efficient and prudent way,” said Senator George Runner. Senate Bill 1164 would place before voters five different bonds over 10 Years which would provide funding for new construction and modernization of K-12 schools, community colleges, higher education, vocational education and charter school facilities. The bonds would strictly be for “bricks and mortar” building projects and would require local matching dollars or public-private partnerships. Runner continued, “I think what is critical as we invest in our infrastructure is to enact key reforms like design-build for school construction, CEQA reforms, reforms to the Field Act, and other provisions that streamline the process, cut out the lethargic and wasteful bureaucracy and maximize our investment.” “While there are definite reforms necessary to maximize our investment in the school construction bond, I do believe it is appropriate that the bonds currently only propose to match brick and mortar projects for K-12, community colleges and higher education. I also believe it is important that for the first time, the bonds include a long-term investment in the infrastructure and facilities for vocational education.” SB 1164 proposes that every two years over the next 10 years, a school construction bond would be presented to the voters for their approval. The proposed 10-year schedule is the following: 2006 – $12.4 billion; 2008 – $4.2 billion; 2010 — $7.7 billion; 2012 – $8.7 billion; 2014 – $5 billion. There will be a series of three hearings on SB 1164 beginning on Wednesday, January 25. This legislation is a part of the overall infrastructure financing discussions taking place in the Legislature over the following weeks.