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Judge rejects sale of bonds

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – A plan to sell $525 million in bonds to cover part of the state’s pension obligation this year violates constitutional mandates that voters approve all large loans, a Sacramento County judge ruled Thursday. It is the second time in three years a court has thrown out the idea of selling bonds to pay for retirement costs. Finance officials in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration said they will appeal. “This decision is a victory for all Californians against spendthrift practices in the state Legislature,” said attorney Harold Johnson of the Pacific Legal Foundation. The Sacramento-based conservative nonprofit group filed the challenge to the bond sale last year on behalf of an anti-tax group from Orange County. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Today’s court ruling should make it clear to lawmakers that they can’t run California on credit cards,” Johnson said in a statement. He said Article 15 of the state constitution prevents lawmakers from borrowing more than $300,000 without voter approval. Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Raymond M. Cadei agreed. The governor’s office said the bond sale does not create new debt, but rather refinances existing debt. The bonds are tied to pension-reform measures negotiated last year with unions that will save three times the cost of the pension bonds, Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer said. The anticipated $525 million proceed from the bond sale was included in the state’s existing budget, but none of the bonds was sold because of the pending court case. Palmer said that if the ruling is allowed to stand, the governor will need to address the loss of that money in next year’s budget. last_img read more