MOORLACH UPDATE — Get Mad, Get Motivated — October 19, 2018

When I get mad, I get motivated. That’s probably why I’m in public office. When I did a little research and realized what then-Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert L. “Bob” Citron was doing, I got mad. Mad enough to step out of my comfort zone as a partner in a large local C.P.A. accountancy firm, Balser, Horowitz, Frank & Wakeling, and run against him, unsuccessfully, in the June 1994 primary (see

Well, I’m watching the financial status of California and its municipalities crumble and everyone seems to either be ignoring it or putting their heads in the sand. What to do? There is no singular and accessible public repository to find the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for every municipality. So, my office decided to create it. We went to every school district website or contacted the districts (two or three still haven’t provided them). We also received exceptional assistance from Marc Joffe at Reason Foundation by helping us track down a few of the stragglers.

Since my stint as Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2012, I’ve been reviewing California county CAFRs and taking their Unrestricted Net (Assets or Deficit) Position (UNP) and dividing it by its population. The per capita UNP is a very reliable indicator of the fiscal status of a municipality and allows us to compare them apples-to-apples (or, in the case below, oranges-to-oranges). The UNP should be positive (net assets), but more than likely it is negative (net deficit).

We reviewed the 482 cities earlier this year because I was mad. I’ve been drafting and presenting pension reform legislation and most of the cities, with the exception of those in Orange County, have been largely disengaged on this ever-increasing millstone. What to do? Show everyone how all of the cities are doing. It’s having an impact. The third and fourth editorial pieces below are recent columns from the Culver City Observer. The columnist gets it. Not only for the city, but for the city’s school teachers (see MOORLACH UPDATE — City CAFR Rankings – Vol. 1 – February 7, 2018). Just wait until the columnist finds out that Culver City Unified is #831 out of 940 — ouch (see MOORLACH UPDATE — California School District Rankings, Group 13 — August 28, 2018).

The second piece below announces our most recent review of the CAFRs for the 944 school districts in California. As a few have combined to save on auditing fees, we have 940 on the list. The Orange County Breeze, in the second piece below, provides the overview from our press release.

I have had the pleasure these past few years of serving on the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and its Subcommittee No. 1 on Education (see When I’m told by representatives of our state’s CSU and UC systems that they cannot provide me with a ten-year Strategic Financial Plan, I get mad.

When I hear that teachers in LA voted to go on strike, I get mad. Don’t these people know how desperate their employer’s CAFR is? And, that it will be worse when the June 30, 2018 audits are completed thanks to the now required inclusion of retiree medical liabilities?

So, as an involved and committed elected official, I rolled up my sleeves and, with my staff, started digging. Regretfully, the data we obtained is not encouraging and the trend lines are not going in the right direction.

What to do? It’s time to be proactive! Now! If California’s elected leaders continue to hesitate, then being reactive will be too late and too ugly.

The first piece below is my editorial submission on this most recent school CAFR repository project. To be honest with you, the numbers were so bleak it impacted me emotionally. I was truly saddened to reveal the results of our simple metric. You’ve already seen them by my releasing 14 volumes of data in the month of August. The OC Register gave me an opportunity to expound on Orange County’s 27 public school districts.

If anything, I hope you get mad, too. And, get out of your comfort zone and do something to improve the situation. Volunteer for a campaign. Contribute to a candidate. Put up a yard sign. Even start doing the research to see if you should be a candidate yourself someday. We’re leaving a massive mess to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Please, get motivated.



All OC public school districts but one bleed red ink


Of Orange County’s 27 public school districts, just one, Fountain Valley Elementary, boasts a positive balance sheet. Unfortunately, the other school districts have balance sheets that have dipped into the red.

The scoring comes as part of my new report, “Financial Soundness Rankings for California’s Public School Districts, Colleges & Universities.” It reviews the financial soundness of all 944 California public school districts. I performed a similar review of California’s 482 cities, including Orange County’s 34 cities, back in March. In that case, 19 O.C. cities ran positive balance sheets, although 15 ran red ink – a much better performance than for the school districts.

The rankings derive from each district’s latest Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which you can find on their respective websites. In each CAFR, look for the “Basic Financial Statements,” starting with the page titled “Statement of Net Position.” Look at the top row for “Government Activities.” Then look down the column to where it says, first “Net Position,” then “Unrestricted.” That’s the number you want: the Unrestricted Net Position, or UNP.

The number will either be positive or, with parentheses around it, negative.

I also divide the UNP by the district’s population to get a per-capita UNP. If negative, that’s the amount each person in the district is in hock for, whether or not your children attend school. Citizens should be concerned about the trajectory of these negative balances, which are commonly attributed to unfunded pension liabilities. As school board members are auditioning for their jobs, they need to be held accountable for dealing with these liabilities.

If the negative number runs too high too long, it will mean cuts in teachers, equipment, band and sports, and ultimately calls for tax increases. In the worst cases, takeover by the state, even bankruptcy, is not out of the question.

Fountain Valley Elementary’s positive number clocks at $78 per capita. For comparison, it ranks 102nd of California’s 944 school districts.

It’s all negative after that, with the second and third “best” being Laguna Beach Unified at ($223) and Fullerton Joint Union High at ($344).

By far the worst is Santa Ana Unified at ($1,805), a very dangerous number. It ranks a dismal 901st of California’s 944 school districts.

Oddly, the next two places of financial distress are held by districts in wealthy OC communities, Irvine Unified ($1,115) and Newport-Mesa Unified ($1,089).

Here are the per capita UNPs for all Orange County school districts:

1. Fountain Valley $ 78

2. Laguna Beach Unified ($ 223)

3. Fullerton Joint Union High ($ 344)

4. Huntington Beach City Union High ($ 350)

5. Huntington Beach City Elementary ($ 508)

6. Centralia Elementary ($ 532)

7. Orange Unified ($ 553)

8. Garden Grove Unified ($ 573)

9. Savanna Elementary ($ 589)

10. Cypress Elementary ($ 607)

11. Los Alamitos Unified ($ 619)

12. Anaheim Union High ($ 675)

13. Magnolia Elementary ($ 741)

14. Fullerton Elementary ($ 743)

15. La Habra City Elementary ($ 752)

16. Saddleback Valley Unified ($ 779)

17. Ocean View ($ 813)

18. Tustin Unified ($ 837)

19. Anaheim Elementary ($ 841)

20. Brea-Olinda Elementary ($ 888)

21. Buena Park Elementary ($ 898)

22. Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified ($ 966)

23. Capistrano Unified ($ 967)

24. Westminster ($ 988)

25. Newport-Mesa Unified ($1,089)

26. Irvine Unified ($1,115)

27. Santa Ana Unified ($1,805)

This is part of my effort to track the per capita UNPs of California’s various government budgets. In addition to the city budgets mentioned earlier, I have tracked counties, community colleges, California State University and the University of California as well as all 50 U.S. states.

You can follow all these analyses on my legislative website. The reports will be regularly updated.

Next year is going to be especially revealing – and distressing – as the Governmental Accounting Standards Board for the first time will require balance sheets to include unfunded retiree medical liabilities, which will show even more city and school districts in critical condition.

And when the next economic recession hits, for even those modestly distressed, it’s going to be one big financial train wreck.

Let’s hope our elected school board members and their administrative staff get in front of this serious cash management squeeze on their horizon. It’s time to be proactive, as taxpayers are not very forgiving with those who are reactive. Especially with supposed leaders who only have one solution: raise taxes.

John M.W. Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, represents the 37th District in the California Senate


Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 10.29.42 AM

Moorlach report finds 2/3 of California’s 944 school districts bleed red ink

Sen. John Moorlach released his latest fiscal report, “Financial Soundness Rankings for California’s Public School Districts, Colleges & Universities.” SEE REPORT HERE. It follows his March 2018 reports on the state’s 482 cities that found 2/3 of them in the red; of 58 counties, 55 suffered deficits and only three enjoyed positive balance sheets. His May 2018 report on the 50 U.S. states found only nine were financially healthy, with California ranked among the worst, in 42nd place.

Some key findings from the new education report:

  • About two-thirds of California’s 944 public school districts run negative balance sheets. These statements show the most distressed districts could soon reach a tipping point into insolvency and receivership.
  • Of the state’s large school districts, those in severe distress include Los Angeles Unified School District, with a negative $10.9 billion balance sheet; San Diego Unified at negative $1.5 billion; Fresno Unified at negative $849 million; and Santa Ana Unified at negative $485 million, the worst in Orange County.
  • Of Orange County’s 27 public school districts, only one, Fountain Valley School District, is in positive financial territory.
  • One bright spot is the 58 county boards of education. At least 51 of them have manageable per capita unrestricted net deficits of -$159 or less, with 14 in positive territory.
  • Of the state’s 72 community college districts, only one enjoys a positive unrestricted net position (UNP).
  • Cal State University’s balance sheet is negative $3.66 billion.
  • The University of California’s balance sheet bleeds red ink all over the state, at negative $19.3 billion. Worse, that will double next year, to $38.6 billion, when retiree medical is included.

The Moorlach Report is a flashing caution light to almost every public education budget in California. Unless things can change quickly, taxpayers can expect new levies, and post-secondary students and parents should fear higher tuition.

This article was released by the Office of Senator John Moorlach.

Editor’s Note: Los Alamitos Unified School District is ranked 426, Savannah Elementary School District is ranked 408, Cypress Elementary School District is ranked 423, and Anaheim Union High School District is ranked 463.

Teachers Pensions Beat Others by 3-1 Margin

By Neil Rubenstein

In an ironic twist, a recent study by the nonprofit Bellwether Education Partners has found that the rising costs of teacher pension plans are starting to eat into their own salary hikes.

Teachers, and their unions, often complain about low salaries. The research from Bellwether shows that, since 1994, teacher salaries have failed to keep pace with inflation.

But total compensation for teachers has risen faster than inflation when non-salary benefits, such as insurance and retirement, are included.

Chad Aldeman, an associate partner at Bellwether, says lack of money isn’t why teacher salaries aren’t rising.

“Even after adjusting for inflation and rising student enrollment, total school spending is up,” Aldeman reports.

“It’s not for lack of money spent on teachers, either. Districts are allocating about the same portion of their budgets to instructional costs – including salaries, wages, and benefits for teachers – as they did 20 years ago.”

Aldeman notes that teachers have the highest retirement benefits of almost any profession.

“While the average civilian employee receives $1.78 for retirement benefits per hour of work, public school teachers receive $6.22 per hour

in retirement compensation,” Aldeman’s report says.

To be fair, teachers pay part of their salary into a taxpayer-backed pension fund.

When the fund does well, retired teachers do too.

But when the fund doesn’t make its financial goals, a deal that California lawmakers signed years ago essentially requires other state residents to make-up the difference—usually through higher property- or sales-taxes, like the ones that Culver’s government officials and its employees want you to approve in November.

Senator: Culver in Bad Financial Shape

Culver City is listed by State Sen. John Moorlach as being in one of most egregiously worst financial positions of the 482 cities that recently filed documents with Sacramento.

Meantime, our Council just moved $10 million from the City’s reserve fund, setting aside those funds by placing them into an irrevocable trust and making them only available to pay for City employees’ retirements.

This financial move should reassure City employees nearing retirement that their hefty pensions will be paid.

But what does the Council’s newly formed trust really do to alleviate the almost $4,000 tax burden for every man, women and child in Culver City who don’t work for our local government?

This commentary does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Observer. Previous columns by Neil Rubenstein can be found at

After November, Even More Tax Hikes May be Needed

By Neil Rubenstein

Can little Culver City continue to pay super-large paychecks and pensions to current and former City employees?

If so, local taxes will need to continue to rise.

No, I’m just not pointing the finger at our Police and Fire departments, but other City agencies as well. Our City Manager’s total of money and benefits is now over $400,000 annually, and some local government employee’s will never see the inside of a discount store because they’re collecting more than $175,000 in retiree pensions.

On Nov. 6, Culver City voters will be asked to approve another $187 annual property-tax to fund the School District plus a sharp increase in the City’s sales tax.

If our local government can’t reign in its spending now, it’s a safe bet that there will be more taxes to come in future years.

Time for a Culver Firewoman

I just guess I would feel better if we had a better system. After all, it’s been more than 100 years that Culver City has been functioning but has never had one lady in the firehouse.

Isn’t it possible to create a separate classification for paramedics, like so many other departments throughout our country have done? Surely, our Council should wake-up and change this poo-poo policy before our City is sued.

More on City Finances

Continuing the Culver City’ Observer’s policy of informing the public of our dire financial situation: State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, has listed all 482 cities in California based on their current financial situation and outlook for the next few years.

Culver City ranks 478, just five up from the bottom. With 40,000 residents, every man, woman and child in our community would have to pay $3,979 each to pay our City’s expenses.

Sen. Moorlach’s comprehensive study found that Culver’s financial position today is even worse than that of Bell and Maywood—and most of us know how those two cities turned-out.

Moorlach has already gained the support of several anti-tax groups, including the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which grew out of the 1970s property-tax revolt, and the National Tax Limitation Committee.

For additional information, visit Sen Moorlach’s web site at or call his Orange County Office, (714) 662-6050.

Yee: More ‘Transparency’ Needed

California State Controller Betty Yee spoke on Sept, 22 at a South County Labor meeting that I attended. A group of about 400 activists from several trade unions and candidates for political office were there.

Yee and I had a long conversation on my suggestions to continue to improve financial transparency in California cities and counties. It’s probably only a matter of time before improvements will be mandated by Sacramento.

At our table were Veronica Sauceda, candidate running for L.A. Superior Court Judge No. 4 ( and Patricia Hunter (, candidate running for L.A. Superior Court Judge, office No. 16.

Please vote for both Hunter and Sauceda. In my opinion, they will be fair and have integrity.

Rank City Population UNP (thousands) UNP per Capita Year of CAFR

482 Vernon 209 ($101,678) ($486,498) 2017

481 El Segundo 16.717 ($86,756) ($5,190) 2016

480 Richmond 111,785 ($508,981) ($4,553) 2016

479 Oakland 426,074 ($1,789,831) ($4,201) 2016

478 Culver City 40,103 ($159,584) ($3,979) 2017

477 Cathedral City 54,557 ($181,885) ($3,334) 2017

476 Berkeley 121,238 ($394,430) ($3,253) 2017

475 Patterson 22,730 ($71,034) ($3,125) 2016

474 San Francisco 874,228 ($2,560,735) ($2,929) 2017

473 Santa Fe Springs 18,291 ($49,235) ($2,692) 2016

Culver City: Financially, 5th worst city in State of California

UNP: Unrestricted Net Position, in thousands of dollars

UNP: What each Culverite owes in future payments

Year of CAFR: Latest year the City reported

New Teachers, Same Budget Woes

With so many dozens of brand-new teachers with little or no real classroom experience having been hired by the Culver City Unified School District in the past three years, one would think that the district’s average cost of its teaching staff would be much lower.

But, if you check out the CCUSD/CCFT negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreements on the district’s website covering this school year and the last one, you’ll find that the average compensation cost (combined salary and benefits) per teacher is $91,775 and under the CCUSD/CCFT collective Bargaining Agreement on Health and Welfare, it shows that the average cost of a teacher’s health and welfare is $5,222.

To find the teachers’ average salary, you would simply have to subtract the district’s average health and welfare costs from the teachers’ average compensation. In doing the math, you would come up with $86,553 as the teachers’ average salary–not the ridiculously low figure that Bruce Lebedoff Ander gave in his recent letter that was printed in the Observer.

His is almost $20,000 off- the-mark. It may have been $67,270 at one time, but that was probably a long time ago.

Wasn’t it five years ago when some current board members agreed to a five-year plan to give district-wide staff a raise that, at the time, was of an unknown size?

They helped pay for it by taking millions of dollars out of our School District’s reserves, and that, its final district costs turned out to be almost $20 million. That was the equivalent of giving district staff an unprecedented 30 percent salary increase.

But, that’s not even counting the district’s annual Step & Column’s increases of 3 percent to 4.1 percent for teachers with less than 10 years of service in the district. For those fortunate teachers, their salary increases could well have been between 45 percent and 50 percent over the last five years.

Now, Bruce Lebedoff Ander certainly has the right to express his own opinion of me. But hopefully, next time when he tries to throw around monetary figures, he will check the accuracy of his sources before putting out such wildly untrue and misleading information into the public discussion.

This commentary does not necessarily reflect the opionion of the Observer. Previous columns by Neil Rubenstein can be found at www,


This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

Also follow me on Facebook & Twitter @SenatorMoorlach

MOORLACH UPDATE — AB 448 and SB 1363 — September 12, 2018

Now that the 2018 Session has concluded, the Governor has until the end of September to sign or veto the bills the Legislature sent to his desk in the final two weeks of August. (I hope to provide you with the annual list of the 20 bills Gov. Brown should veto soon.)

I’m happy to say that two bills that I was associated with were signed yesterday. The Governor issues a press releases every day on his bill signing and both bills are mentioned in yesterday’s report. The OC Register covers one of them, AB 448, where I was a co-author and the Floor Manager (Jockey) who presented it on the Senate Floor for approval, in the first piece below (also see MOORLACH UPDATE — Senate Approval of AB 448 — August 9, 2018).

For fun on the singular opposition, see MOORLACH UPDATE — AB 448 — July 8, 2018 and my response at MOORLACH UPDATE — Homelessness JPA Solution — July 11, 2018.

The press release is provided in the second piece below in the Imperial Valley News. It includes the approval of SB 1363 (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Quiet Bills, And Not So Quiet — May 3, 2018 and MOORLACH UPDATE — Right to Peaceably Assemble — April 13, 2018).

Form 540, the state equivalent of IRS Form 1040, the traditional income tax return, has a page where filers can designate a portion of their refund towards a specified nonprofit or cause. It’s known as a voluntary contribution and can be deducted on the subsequent year’s return as an itemized deduction (if one’s deductions exceed what is known as the standard deduction).

The good news is that this voluntary contribution gives the causes some nice PR when individuals are preparing their tax returns. Unfortunately, most individuals use professional tax preparers and never even see that they have this option. Most tax preparers do not even inform their clients of this opportunity. Consequently, I initiated a bill to modify this section on the Form 540 earlier this year to make it more manageable and marketed.

After working with the Chair of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, we decided that we would make 2018 the last year to add voluntary contributions and use 2019 to make the reforms. So, stay tuned for legislation that will assist taxpayers in knowing that worthy causes are included in their tax return preparation process.

As for SB 1363, it was a wonderful collaboration with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to provide a funding source for police officer training for Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT). For more information, see SB 1363 – NAMI California and

Governor signs bill that allows creation of Orange County trust to help homeless people

Theresa Walker

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday, Sept. 11, signed into law a bill that will allow Orange County and its 34 cities to form the Orange County Housing Finance Trust and jointly compete for state and federal funds to help house the local homeless population.

The legislation, known as Assembly Bill 448, had enjoyed bipartisan support from Orange County’s delegation in the state legislature, among county and city elected officials, and in the private sector. County supervisor Michelle Steel was a notable exception.

AB 448 was introduced by Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), with Republican co-authors in the state Senate: Pat Bates of Laguna Niguel, John Moorlach of Costa Mesa and Janet Nguyen of Garden Grove.

“This legislation is a product of teamwork, and refreshing cooperation in Orange County,” Quirk-Silva said.

The bill, which goes into effect Jan. 1, does not grant the joint powers authority to be formed any land-use powers, the means to own or operate housing, or the ability to dictate to local jurisdictions where to build. It does call for an annual audit.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 10.52.11 AM

Governor Brown Issues Legislative Update

Sacramento, California – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that he has signed the following bills:

  • AB 448 by Assemblymember Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) – Joint powers authorities: Orange County Housing Finance Trust.
  • AB 700 by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) – Outdoor advertising displays: arenas.
  • AB 1790 by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) – Valley Fever Education, Early Diagnosis, and Treatment Act.
  • AB 2036 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) – State Capitol: Mervyn M. Dymally bust.
  • AB 2097 by Assemblymember Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) – Carpet recycling: annual reports.
  • AB 2175 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) – Vessels: removal.
  • AB 2293 by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace) – Emergency medical services: report.
  • AB 2540 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) – State facilities and public buildings: vote centers and polling places.
  • AB 2620 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Rental passenger vehicle transactions.
  • AB 2745 by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) – State parks: merchandise sales.
  • AB 2894 by Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) – Postsecondary education: students called to active military duty during an academic term.
  • AB 3067 by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Arcadia) – Internet: marketing: minors: cannabis.
  • AB 3098 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) – Residential care facilities for the elderly: emergency and disaster plans.
  • AB 3257 by the Committee on Natural Resources – Natural resources.
  • SB 954 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) – Mediation: confidentiality: disclosure.
  • SB 963 by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) – Water replenishment districts.
  • SB 1046 by Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside) – Insurance: long-term care.
  • SB 1076 by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles) – Emergency preparedness: electrical utilities: electromagnetic pulse attacks and geomagnetic storm events.
  • SB 1113 by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) – Mental health in the workplace: voluntary standards.
  • SB 1133 by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) – Water quality control plans: funding.
  • SB 1201 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) – Contracts: consumer protection: residential mortgage lending.
  • SB 1202 by Senator Jeff Stone (R-Temecula) – Land use: development fees.
  • SB 1246 by Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills) – Property tax: claims for refund.
  • SB 1363 by Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) – Personal income taxes: voluntary contributions: National Alliance on Mental Illness California Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund.
  • SB 1383 by Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) – Teacher credentialing: Committee of Credentials: membership.
  • SB 1410 by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) – Public utilities: inspection and audit of books and records.
  • SB 1503 by the Committee on Governmental Organization – Alcoholic beverages: licensees.

The Governor also announced that he has vetoed the following bills:

  • AB 1715 by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) – International trade and investment offices.
  • AB 2790 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) – Veterans: Internal Audits for Veterans Affairs.


This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

MOORLACH UPDATE — California School District Rankings, Group 2 — August 14, 2018

The second of 14 editions of California’s school districts finds us finishing up those that have unrestricted net assets, versus unrestricted net deficits.

Only two school districts have not made their comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs) available. This is a very small segment, considering we’ve obtained the information for nearly 1,000 districts.

We have shown these two districts at a zero unrestricted net position (UNP), but actual numbers may vary depending on some disclosure by Big Sur Unified and Linns Valley-Poso Flat Union. Based on the percentages, casting them at zero may not be a charitable gesture, as those serving a small constituency have fared better in this ranking.

We just found, in looking for a third missing audited financial statement, that another two districts have paired up for their CAFR, so we’re now focused on 935 reporting entities.

We also have our first Orange County school district, which is the only one in County to have a positive UNP. It is Fountain Valley Elementary and it is in 102nd place. Rankings 67 to 132 are provided below first.

I wouldn’t want to leave you without an interesting update discussion of SB 1421, which is provided by the Daily Bulletin and the OC Register at the very bottom below (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 1421 and SB 828 — May 31, 2018 and MOORLACH UPDATE — California Cop Culture — June 19, 2018).

66 Belleview Elementary Sonora Tuolumne 45 1,711 $ 697,730 $ 408
67 Wheatland Wheatland Yuba 16 7,531 $ 3,062,000 $ 407
68 Montgomery Elementary Cazadero Sonoma 63 881 $ 354,783 $ 403
69 Hart-Ransom Union Elem Modesto Stanislaus 23 4,453 $ 1,783,705 $ 401
70 Mark West Union Elem Santa Rosa Sonoma 7 14,858 $ 5,900,143 $ 397
71 Firebaugh-Las Deltas Uni Firebaugh Fresno 14 8,998 $ 3,352,744 $ 373
72 Semitropic Elementary Wasco Kern 92 368 $ 129,145 $ 351
73 Douglas City Elementary Douglas City Trinity 69 831 $ 290,410 $ 349
74 Elkins Elementary Paskenta Tehama 100 270 $ 91,495 $ 339
75 Bogus Elementary Montague Siskiyou 93 358 $ 118,339 $ 331
76 Garfield Elementary Eureka Humboldt 96 331 $ 107,899 $ 326
77 Jefferson Elementary Paicines San Benito 107 203 $ 65,049 $ 320
78 Trinity Center Elementary Trinity Center Trinity 91 424 $ 131,760 $ 311
79 Gazelle Union Elementary Gazelle Siskiyou 102 290 $ 89,235 $ 308
80 Kenwood Kenwood Sonoma 29 4,276 $ 1,291,001 $ 302
81 South San Francisco Unif So San Francisco San Mateo 2 82,935 $ 22,830,283 $ 275
82 Flournoy Union Elementary Flournoy Tehama 104 267 $ 72,816 $ 273
83 Cuddeback Union Elem Carlotta Humboldt 79 892 $ 220,293 $ 247
84 Indian Diggings Elementary Somerset El Dorado 110 164 $ 39,078 $ 238
85 Waukena Joint Union Elem Tulare Tulare 75 1,021 $ 235,246 $ 230
86 Stone Corral Elementary Visalia Tulare 83 745 $ 170,096 $ 228
87 Lake Elementary Orland Glenn 101 418 $ 90,128 $ 216
88 Happy Camp Union Elem Happy Camp Siskiyou 72 1,304 $ 270,429 $ 207
89 Pine Ridge Elementary Auberry Fresno 84 897 $ 168,329 $ 188
90 Di Giorgio Elementary Arvin Kern 82 967 $ 180,048 $ 186
91 Browns Elementary Rio Oso Sutter 89 975 $ 135,317 $ 139
92 Klamath River Union Elem Horse Creek Siskiyou 109 470 $ 60,376 $ 128
93 Robla Elementary Sacramento Sacramento 19 20,773 $ 2,656,403 $ 128
94 Paradise Elementary Modesto Stanislaus 94 936 $ 118,285 $ 126
95 Rockford Elementary Porterville Tulare 85 1,344 $ 164,825 $ 123
96 Caliente Union Elementary Caliente Kern 95 964 $ 115,753 $ 120
97 Junction City Elementary Junction City Trinity 103 695 $ 81,391 $ 117
98 Twain Harte Twain Harte Tuolumne 48 5,468 $ 626,757 $ 115
99 Wasco Union High Wasco Kern 13 31,543 $ 3,357,016 $ 106
100 Round Valley Joint Elem Bishop Inyo 98 1,047 $ 104,672 $ 100
101 Kneeland Elementary Kneeland Humboldt 113 337 $ 26,881 $ 80
102 Fountain Valley Elementary Fountain Valley Orange 10 56,680 $ 4,442,293 $ 78
103 Indian Springs Elementary Big Bend Shasta 114 220 $ 16,282 $ 74
104 San Lucas Union Elem San Lucas Monterey 112 417 $ 28,309 $ 68
105 Raisin City Elementary Raisin City Fresno 87 2,129 $ 140,090 $ 66
106 Green Point Elementary Blue Lake Humboldt 115 233 $ 14,007 $ 60
107 North County Joint Union Hollister San Benito 80 3,668 $ 219,029 $ 60
108 Big Pine Unified Big Pine Inyo 99 1,820 $ 103,599 $ 57
109 Summerville Union High Tuolumne Tuolumne 51 9,824 $ 552,045 $ 56
110 Strathmore Union Elem Strathmore Tulare 70 5,820 $ 281,596 $ 48
111 Bonny Doon Union Elem Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 90 3,069 $ 134,295 $ 44
112 Alta-Dutch Flat Union Elem Alta Placer 105 1,950 $ 66,099 $ 34
113 Monte Rio Union Elem Monte Rio Sonoma 108 2,292 $ 60,948 $ 27
114 Oak Run Elementary Oak Run Shasta 117 608 $ 7,541 $ 12
115 Orchard Elementary San Jose Santa Clara 78 19,431 $ 223,597 $ 12
116 Modoc Joint Unified Alturas Modoc 106 5,941 $ 65,541 $ 11
117 Palo Verde Union Elem Tulare Tulare 116 2,810 $ 12,295 $ 4
118 Three Rivers Union Elem Three Rivers Tulare 118 2,363 $ 1,506 $ 1
119 Big Sur Unified Big Sur Monterey 119 465 $ – $ –
120 Linns Valley-Poso Flat Un Glennville Kern 120 642 $ – $ –
121 Fieldbrook Elementary McKinleyville Humboldt 121 876 $ (1,390) $ (2)
122 Somis Union Somis Ventura 123 3,295 $ (29,603) $ (9)
123 Lucerne Elementary Lucerne Lake 129 3,388 $ (58,603) $ (17)
124 Lassen View Union Elem Los Molinos Tehama 131 2,816 $ (79,639) $ (28)
125 Armona Union Elementary Armona Kings 149 6,533 $ (196,891) $ (30)
126 Golden Feather Union Elem Oroville Butte 135 2,756 $ (103,750) $ (38)
127 Big Lagoon Union Elem Trinidad Humboldt 122 462 $ (25,973) $ (56)
128 Vineland Elementary Bakersfield Kern 157 4,428 $ (253,793) $ (57)
129 Whitmore Union Elementary Whitmore Shasta 127 736 $ (45,336) $ (62)
130 Cutten Elementary Eureka Humboldt 166 5,307 $ (331,869) $ (63)
131 Bridgeville Elementary Bridgeville Humboldt 125 564 $ (36,684) $ (65)
132 Chowchilla Elementary Chowchilla Madera 274 22,462 $ (1,712,027) $ (76)

California bill takes aim at secrecy surrounding police officer personnel records

By tsaavedra |
Orange County Register

More than 40 years of police secrecy could begin to crumble if California lawmakers pass a new bill allowing the public release of personnel records for law enforcement officers involved in deadly force, on-duty sexual assaults and falsifying evidence.

Senate Bill 1421, by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, is the latest effort to open police records in the name of transparency. Since 1976, California law enforcement officers have been protected by statutes and court rulings — the strictest in the nation — that make it illegal to release virtually all police personnel records, including those involving wrongdoing and disciplinary action.

Past efforts to undo those protections have been rejected under withering opposition by law enforcement unions, which argue that releasing confidential personnel information would endanger police lives, fuel lawsuits and make it more difficult for officers to do their jobs.

However, Skinner said her bill is more narrow than past efforts and focuses on only the most serious of offenses. Details such as home addresses, names of family members and telephone numbers would remain exempt from disclosure. Additionally, under Skinner’s proposal, the release of information could be delayed when there is an open investigation.

“I believe the bill really balances the rights of law enforcement with the right of the public to know,” Skinner said. “(The public) will have the ability to see the agency took (its concerns) seriously. … Until we have access, we won’t be able to determine that.”

Supporters of the SB 1421 say police transparency is key to gaining the trust of the community.

Current law “allows bad officers to perpetuate and bad supervisors to continue their behavior without it ever being known,” said James Chanin, a former American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who practices in San Francisco. “The quality of policing goes down.”

For example, an off-duty Buena Park police officer in March pulled his gun on a man he mistakenly thought had stolen a roll of Mentos from a convenience store. A video of the police gaffe went viral on the internet. Yet, under current law, it is highly unlikely the public will ever know whether the officer was disciplined or retrained. Even his name remains secret, though his face has been seen by a million viewers.

When a Cleveland officer in 2014 shot and killed 14-year-old Tamir Rice, a letter was released from his previous employer saying that agency had found him unfit to be an officer and allowed him to resign.

The release of that kind of information is a crime in California.

“The public has a right to know what’s going on with their taxpayer money, but not in this state,” Chanin said.

Existing law has become a safety net for bad cops, critics say.

In 2006, Berkeley police officers refused — citing state protections — to cooperate with a civilian probe into the theft of heroin, methamphetamines and other drugs from 286 envelopes in the evidence locker. Without police participation, the probe was unable to determine the extent of the security breach.

The Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights was passed by the Legislature in 1976 as a way to keep police supervisors from framing the rank-and-file in the heat of scandal. Before then, officers could be bullied into taking polygraph tests or face losing their jobs. Police brass, according to some stories, would lean on wives and families to get confessions from officers when politically expedient.

The bill of rights basically makes it difficult to fire police officers.

That bill was coupled with a 1978 statute that prohibited disclosure of police disciplinary files to the public without court approval. Those provisions are codified in Penal Codes sections 832.7 and 832.8.

Supporters were worried that criminal defendants were using police disciplinary records to fish for evidence that would help their cases.

California’s protections were made virtually impenetrable in 2006, when the California Supreme Court ruled in Copley Press v. Superior Court of San Diego County that civilian police commissions could not publicly disclose their findings on police misconduct. As a result, some commissions could no longer gain access to personnel files. Lobbyists for the police said these protections were necessary for officer safety.

Specifically, Skinner’s bill would allow for the disclosure of reports, investigations or findings for incidents involving the discharge of a firearm or electronic control weapons, strikes by weapons to the head or neck area or deadly force; incidents of sustained sexual assault by an officer; and findings of dishonesty by an officer.

The proposal is scheduled to be heard Thursday by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. It already has been passed by the Senate.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California opposes the bill because of what it believes are damaging side effects to police. Among the concerns, the group says, is that officers fearing their names might be disclosed might hesitate in the field before acting, creating a police safety issue.

State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, co-authored the bill and believes the benefits outweigh the risks.

“I’m trying to assist to getting to the truth and getting to the truth faster,” Moorlach said. “I think there has been a credibility concern about whether we are being told the truth.”


This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

Also follow me on Facebook & Twitter @SenatorMoorlach

MOORLACH UPDATE — Senate Approval of AB 448 — August 9, 2018

It’s not often that I have to point out that a news piece is a little dated. Assembly Bill 448 was presented on the Senate Floor on Monday afternoon and passed unanimously. One Senate seat is vacant and two Senators were absent, so obtaining a 37-0 vote is quite a statement. I had the honor of being the Floor Manager for the bill, also know as the Floor Jockey for Assemblymembers Daly and Quirk-Silva, and it can be seen by CLICKING HERE.

The OC Register front-page, top-of-the-fold piece below also covers the public debate this bill has enjoyed in Orange County between Supervisor Steel (see MOORLACH UPDATE — AB 448 — July 8, 2018) and myself (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Homelessness JPA Solution — July 11, 2018).

Collaboration on obtaining available funding is a smart move. Healthy structured communication between cities, nonprofits, and the private sector is also a smart move. And this dovetails with Federal Judge David O. Carter’s efforts concerning the homeless. The bill goes back to the Assembly for concurrence and then it is up to the Governor to sign it, thus confirming his ongoing concerns for addressing the homeless issue in California.

P.S. I also want to wish my patient and loving wife, Trina, a happy 38th anniversary!


Bill would create housing trust

Proposed legislation puts county in a better position to finance supportive shelter

By Theresa Walker


With the state legislature back in session, Orange County is poised to see the approval of a bill that could dramatically change the landscape for housing its homeless population.

Assembly Bill 448 would create the Orange County Housing Trust, a regional joint powers authority that would allow the county and its 34 cities to collectively compete for hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private funding.

It would more quickly finance the construction of supportive housing for homeless people, and affordable housing for others with low incomes .

Proponents see AB 448 as a potential game changer in a county that for more than a decade had been notoriously slow — if not completely non-responsive — in addressing a growing homeless crisis, but in the past couple of years has scrambled to catch up.

“If this is created, Orange County will have a leg up on other parts of California in attracting the necessary funds to address homelessness,” said Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), who introduced the bill in May with Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton).

The bill’s purpose, as described in its text, is strictly a financing mechanism, with no land-use authority, no means to own or operate housing, or to dictate to local jurisdictions where to build.

The housing trust, which could issue bonds and leverage private dollars, would be governed by a board of directors to include city and county representatives, and community members.

The bill also calls for an annual audit for transparency.

Bipartisan support

AB 448 quickly gained bipartisan support among state and local elected officials, with the notable exception of Orange County’s 2nd District Supervisor Michelle Steel.

Its coauthors in the state senate are Republicans: Pat Bates of Laguna Niguel, John Moorlach of Costa Mesa, and Janet Nguyen of Garden Grove. The legislation also has broad support in the private sector.

The legislation grew out of the simultaneous efforts of former Santa Ana Mayor and Irvine Company No. 2 executive Dan Young to secure $100 million in private financing and the Association of California Cities – Orange County to harness the backing of city officials in creating an estimated 2,700 units of supportive housing.

So far, the ACC-OC has identified 2,000 potential sites, said Heather Stratman, executive director of the ACC-OC. And a collection of 50 wealthy “legacy families” in Orange County are poised to commit $2 million each that could be used to leverage public dollars.

“So many legacy families in Orange County want to do their part,” said Bill Taormina, a wealthy Anaheim businessman who, as one of the legacy families, has helped line up the pledges of private support.


Supervisor Steel outlined her opposition in an Op-Ed published in the Orange County Registerin July.

She argued that AB 448 would “take away local control, and grow the size of government to build large scale homeless and subsidized government housing in your backyard with your hard-earned dollars.”

Sen. Moorlach responded days later with his own opinion piece, also published in The Register, that called Steel’s opposition “classic NIMBYism and fearmongering.”

The bill made its way smoothly through the Assembly against the backdrop of a still unfolding civil rights lawsuit filed in late January over the dismantling of homeless encampments at the Santa Ana River Trail and a scathing report from the Orange County Grand Jury in May that blamed the failure of local elected leadership, poor city-county collaboration and NIMBY residents for not housing the chronically homeless.

AB 448 is expected to go straight to the Senate floor this month and be approved before the Aug. 31 end of the current legislative session, then sent to Gov. Jerry Brown. The governor would have until Sept. 30 to sign or veto any legislation.

A good start

Homeless advocate Mohammed Aly called the stamp of approval from Moorlach, who spent about 10 years apiece in each of his previous roles as a county supervisor and the treasurer-tax collector, a good sign of the bill’s attention to accountability. Aly helped line up endorsements for AB 448 in its early stages.

“Nobody is more fiscally responsible than Sen. Moorlach,” said Aly, a lawyer who founded the Orange County Poverty Alleviation Coalition and has gone to battle numerous times with county and city officials over treatment of homeless people.

Quirk-Silva said the bill not only is backed by Orange County’s state delegation but also by legislators elsewhere in California.

“It’s one of the few times you see some real significant bipartisan support,” she said.

AB 448 is similar to housing trusts established in Santa Clara County, Silicon Valley, and San Mateo County, said Cesar Covarrubias, executive director of The Kennedy Commission, an Irvine-based nonprofit that advocates from the local to the federal government for housing that people earning less than $10 an hour could afford.

While he applauds the Orange County legislation as a good start at a regional approach toward financing affordable housing for homeless people and others with low incomes, Covarrubias said it doesn’t go far enough. The Kennedy Commission has long advocated for a local housing bond.

“Strategically, you need to be in support of creating more resources and not just taking advantage of the opportunities.” Covarrubias said.


This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

Also follow me on Facebook & Twitter @SenatorMoorlach