Groups that oversee government bond spending could stand to grow some teeth, according to a new report.
Since 2000, local bond measures that pay for school construction require only 55 percent local voter approval, instead of two-thirds. With that change came a new requirement that a citizen watchdog group monitor bond expenses to ensure projects promised were built.
Other governments also turn to citizen groups to police voter-approved bonds that pay for things like roads and transit.
In 2016 alone, Californians approved local school bond measurers totaling $28 billion, plus another $7.2 billion in local government debt for other public projects, according to a report released Tuesday by the Little Hoover Commission, a state entity that provides independent government oversight. The commission suggests Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature “should update and overhaul” the state law that created the bond oversight groups to clarify their authority.