Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


In 2007, amid concerns that cash-out refunding bonds were legally unsound and might violate state law, State Senator Joseph Simitian submitted five questions to the California Attorney General addressing the legality of cash-out refunding bonds. Of particular interest is Question 5, which asks whether a school district may sell refunding bonds to a joint powers authority with an above-market interest rate. The Attorney General opined that such a financing arrangement would violate the state constitution because it results in new, non-voter approved local government debt. This Comment is a critique of the Attorney General's answer to Question 5 that focuses on, inter alia, a problematic assumption, dicta cited as precedent, and a substance-over-form argument that does not conform with existing case law.