Landmark Law Finances Unprecedented Courthouse Rebuilding Program
(Stats. 2008, ch. 311)
This legislation, signed into law on September 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.
SB 1407 on California Courts News
"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."
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
January 12, 2012: Independent Oversight Consultant Selected
December 12, 2011: Judicial Council Approves Cost Reductions in Facilities Program
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.