Contributed by the Office of Rich Gordon
Local elected officials may soon be guaranteed financial management training. Authored by Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Menlo Park), AB 1235 would ensure that local officials receive training in general financial management principles and finance management laws relevant to their public service.
“A new local official may be more familiar with the service needs in their community than the financial and legal constraints of the local agency in meeting those needs. And yet, in order to properly manage public funds, a local official must try to understand this complex and often unstable world of local agency financing,” said Assemblyman Gordon, who served as a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for 13 years.
Current law requires local officials to receive ethics training; however, there is no such required training surrounding fiscal management. With assistance from the State Treasurer and Controller’s offices, AB 1235 would allow an entity (such as a local government or an association of local governments) to develop curriculum to meet their relevant needs. Once the curriculum is developed, local officials will be required to attend financial management training once per term in office.
Gordon continued, “Fiscal oversight of public entities is both technical and complex. Changes in vehicle License Fees, the sales tax triple flip, and excess property tax districts are just a few examples of the financial complexities that local officials are responsible for governing. This bill will help ensure that local elected officials have the information needed to make responsible financial management decisions for their agencies and for California taxpayers.”
AB 1235 now heads to the Governor’s desk.