Strategic Growth Plan, Bond Accountability

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Purpose of This Site

This web site has been created at the direction of Governor Schwarzenegger to enhance transparency in state government activities, and earn the trust of the voters who approved an historic level of bond funding in November 2006 for the purpose of ensuring a vital infrastructure future for California.

Through bipartisan cooperative action, the Governor and Legislature have initiated the first phase of a comprehensive Strategic Growth Plan to address California’s critical infrastructure needs over the next 20 years. California faces over $500 billion in infrastructure needs to meet the demands of a population expected to increase by 23 percent over the next two decades. In November 2006, the voters approved the first installment of that 20-year vision to rebuild California by authorizing a series of general obligation bonds totaling $42.7 billion.

Much progress will be made with this initial funding. Thousands of new and renovated classrooms will be built throughout the state, transportation construction projects will begin to reduce congestion of goods and traffic, and work on dozens of critical levee improvements is already underway.

However, additional investments in the state’s infrastructure will be needed if California is to maintain its highly valued quality of life and continue its economic growth.  Consequently, the Governor is proposing an additional $42.3 billion of bonds to fund infrastructure improvements over the next decade.

Last November, the voters demonstrated their understanding of the need for infrastructure growth and revitalization by approving five separate bond measures.  By approving these bonds, they also placed faith in their government to use that funding wisely and efficiently.  Before voters will approve a second series of bonds, government must demonstrate that the voters’ faith was not misplaced.  To assure the public that bond funds will be used as the voters intended, this web site provides a window through which to view how bond funds are being spent.

On January 24, 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger signed an executive order to establish guidelines and procedures for spending Strategic Growth Plan bond funds efficiently, effectively and in the best interests of Californians, and directed the Department of Finance to create a web site for the public to readily access information on how bond proceeds are being utilized.

“The people want us to spend their money wisely and efficiently. We must uphold their trust,’” said Governor Schwarzenegger at a cabinet meeting where he signed the executive order. “That’s why I’m signing this executive order to bring full accountability and transparency to the entire process. I look forward to working with the Legislature to make the Strategic Growth Plan bond proceeds are spent prudently.”

Specifically, the executive order directs government agencies that spend bond funds to institute a three-part accountability structure that includes:

  • Front-End Accountability: Establishing criteria for the expenditure of bond funds that will achieve the intended outcomes of the bonds.
  • In-Progress Accountability: Instituting ongoing actions to ensure that the infrastructure projects or other activities funded from bond proceeds are staying within their original scope and cost.
  • Follow-Up Accountability: Auditing completed projects to determine that the expenditures were consistent with the front-end criteria and all applicable state laws.

How to Use This Site

In November of 2006, the voters approved five bond measures, Propositions 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E and 84. By selecting the “Bond Information” tab at the top of this page, links can be accessed to sites for each of these bond measures. (As future bonds are authorized, they too will be added to Bond Information page.) Selecting a bond link will take you to a site that will contain a variety of information about the expenditures from the bonds.

The information that you will see will include the following:

  • An overview of the various programs and projects authorized to be funded by the bond.
  • As summary of the status of bond expenditures by major program category.
  • An explanation of the three-phase accountability structure that will govern the use of bond funds.  There are scores of statutorily authorized programs that guide the use of bond funds.  In most instances, the expenditure of funds is further guided by detailed regulations, strategic plans, federal law requirements or other formal policies.  Consequently, the “front-end” accountability criteria can be lengthy and complex, depending upon the program.  Nevertheless, all of the criteria are readily available on, or accessible through, the individual bond sites.
  • Detailed information about bond expenditures by program or individual infrastructure project.  Depending upon the nature of the program or project, expenditure information may include the following:
  • Project name
  • Description of project (e.g., type of land or structure, function, size or if a planning grant, the subject of the plan)
  • Objectives of project (outcomes it is intended to achieve—e.g., improve salmon habitat, relieve traffic congestion)
  • Grantor (state government entity  that authorized funding for the project, grant or loan))
  • Grantee (local government, private non-profit organization or other state agency that received the funding)
  • Amount of state bond funding allocated
  • Bond authorization detail (i.e., proposition number/year, code section reference(s), appropriation authority)
  • Date of decision to fund
  • Date of project completion (actual or projected)
  • Location of project—description, address, zip code)
  • Contact number for administering department

In addition, for each program or project expenditure, there will be a reference to the specific “front-end” accountability criteria under which the expenditure was made, a report on the “in-progress” accountability status of the expenditure and the results of the “follow-up” accountability audit of the expenditure.

  • The functionality to research expenditures by location or program category where applicable.
  • Links to related sites, including those dealing with prior bond measures.

By selecting the “Executive Order” tab, you can access the order signed by the Governor establishing the three-part accountability structure for guiding current and future bond measures.

Selecting the “Strategic Growth Plan” tab will take you to the Governor’s proposed plan for California’s infrastructure priorities and bond funding over the next decade.

The “Five-Year Infrastructure Plan” tab takes you to the Governor’s detailed plan for specific infrastructure expenditures over the next five years.

Finally, web site links on the navigation bar at the left side of this page provide easy access to other sites of related infrastructure and budget information.

Public Service Links

Save Our Water Save Our Water: saveourh2o.org to find out how.
Voter Education and Outreach Secretary of State - Voter Education
Rebuild Your Life Website Rebuild Your Life
California Climate Change Portal California Climate Change Portal
Flex Your Power Website
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