Senate Bill 1407

Landmark Law Finances Unprecedented Courthouse Rebuilding Program

(Stats. 2008, ch. 311)

This legislation, signed into law on Sept 26, 2008, launched an unprecedented courthouse rebuilding program in California by designating judicial branch revenues to fund up to $5 billion in lease-revenue bonds that will finance new construction and renovation projects. It has been estimated that 104,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created by the projects funded by Senate Bill 1407

The law created a revenue stream from court fees, penalties, and assessments to finance courthouse construction and renovations, ensuring that these projects would be paid for from within the judicial branch rather than drawing on the state's general fund.

Fact Sheet:  Costs of Delay: Judicial Branch Court Construction Program (Senate Bill 1407)


SB 1407 on California Courts News
November 2008

"Senate Bill 1407 is a major step forward that will help ensure the safety and security of our courthouses for all Californians, including litigants, jurors, lawyers, employees, and other members of the public."
--Chief Justice Ronald George

"Improving our state's aging court facilities has been an integral part of my promise to Californians to rebuild our infrastructure and increase public safety. This bill not only delivers on that promise to finance desperately needed construction projects, but it will also help create thousands of jobs for California workers."
--Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

News

February 26, 2013:  Council Delays 11 More Court Construction Projects

January 17, 2013:   Judicial Council Delays Four More Courthouse Projects

December 6, 2012:  More Cuts Possible to Court Construction Program

October 26, 2012:  Judicial Council Delays Seven New Courthouses

July 13, 2012:  Further Cuts Ahead for Court Construction Program

April 24, 2012:  California Courthouse Construction:  Immediate and Critical Needs

April 24, 2012:  Judicial Council Approves Significant Cost-Cutting in SB 1407 Courthouse Projects

January 12, 2012:  Independent Oversight Consultant Selected

December 12, 2011:  Judicial Council Approves Cost Reductions in Facilities Program

Oct 24, 2011: Court Facilities Working Group Recommends Cost Reductions in Courthouse Facilities

Milestones

2010

July:  Three courthouse projects to be financed by SB 1407 receive funding authorization from the State Public Works Board (SPWB). All 41 projects to be funded by SB 1407 are now moving forward.

June:  Three courthouse projects receive initial funding authorization.

May:  Three courthouse projects receive initial funding authorization.

April:  Four courthouse projects receive initial funding authorization .

March:  Three courthouse projects receive initial funding authorization.

February:  More than 20 design and construction associations and organizations signed a letter to lawmakers urging them to preserve SB 1407 funds for court construction.

Los Angeles Times editorial recommends preserving SB 1407 funds for their intended purpose.

Capitol Weekly opinion piece by Judge Mary Ann O'Malley and Bob Balgenorth, president of the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, outlines the negative impact of diverting court construction funds.

2009

Dec: Five new courthouse projects receive initial funding authorization.

Nov: Six new courthouse projects  receive initial funding authorization.

Aug: With approval of the fiscal year 2009-2010 budget, 15 courthouse projects around the state  receive approval to proceed.

May:  OCCM receives over 60 responses to a solicitation for offers of economic opportunity--defined as financial contributions, land donations, or reduced-cost land acquisitions--for many of the new courthouse projects to be funded by SB 1407.

Background

This historic revenue bond was the legislature's first significant commitment to funding courthouse improvements across the state since the enactment of the Trial Court Facilities Act in 2002.

Judicial Council news release
Full text of the law

Soon after enactment of SB 1407, the Judicial Council approved 41 projects in 34 counties to be funded by the revenues secured through this law.

Judicial Council news release

At its October 2008 business meeting, the Judicial Council also adopted an update to the methodology for prioritizing new trial court construction and renovation projects to align it with SB 1407.

Effective January 1, 2009, SB 1407 affects fees, penalties, and assessments in criminal and traffic courts, and increases filing fees in civil, family, and probate courts. All revenue from the new assessments, fees, and increases will be used for facilities projects, including renovation and new court construction.

Judicial Council news release
Civil fee increase chart (Excel)
Criminal fee increase chart (Excel)

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