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Validation Bills in the California Legislature

These bills are required to have a number of provisions

By Chris Micheli, March 15, 2022 8:39 am

Each year, the Legislature enacts a series of “validation bills” which enact the First Validating Act, Second Validating Act, and Third Validating Act. These Acts are intended to validate the organization, boundaries, acts, proceedings, and bonds of the state and counties, cities, and specified districts, agencies, and entities. These bills are required to have a number of provisions, including the following:

All public bodies heretofore organized or existing under any law, or under color of any law, are hereby declared to have been legally organized and to be legally functioning as those public bodies. Every public body, heretofore described, shall have all the rights, powers, and privileges, and be subject to all the duties and obligations, of those public bodies regularly formed pursuant to law.

The above provision ensures that the organization of public bodies is validated.

The boundaries of every public body as heretofore established, defined, or recorded, or as heretofore actually shown on maps or plats used by the assessor, are hereby confirmed, validated, and declared legally established.

The above provision ensures that the boundaries of public bodies are validated.

All acts and proceedings heretofore taken by any public body or bodies under any law, or under color of any law, for the annexation or inclusion of territory into those public bodies or for the annexation of those public bodies to any other public body or for the detachment, withdrawal, or exclusion of territory from any public body or for the consolidation, merger, or dissolution of any public bodies are hereby confirmed, validated, and declared legally effective. This shall include all acts and proceedings of the governing board of any public body and of any person, public officer, board, or agency heretofore done or taken upon the question of the annexation or inclusion or of the withdrawal or exclusion of territory or the consolidation, merger, or dissolution of those public bodies.

The above provision ensures that all acts and proceedings of public bodies are validated.

(a) All acts and proceedings heretofore taken by or on behalf of any public body under any law, or under color of any law, for, or in connection with, the authorization, issuance, sale, execution, delivery, or exchange of bonds of any public body for any public purpose are hereby authorized, confirmed, validated, and declared legally effective. This shall include all acts and proceedings of the governing board of public bodies and of any person, public officer, board, or agency heretofore done or taken upon the question of the authorization, issuance, sale, execution, delivery, or exchange of bonds.

(b) All bonds of, or relating to, any public body heretofore issued shall be, in the form and manner issued and delivered, the legal, valid, and binding obligations of the public body. All bonds of, or relating to, any public body heretofore awarded and sold to a purchaser and hereafter issued and delivered in accordance with the contract of sale and other proceedings for the award and sale shall be the legal, valid, and binding obligations of the public body. All bonds of, or relating to, any public body heretofore authorized to be issued by ordinance, resolution, order, or other action adopted or taken by or on behalf of the public body and hereafter issued and delivered in accordance with that authorization shall be the legal, valid, and binding obligations of the public body. All bonds of, or relating to, any public body heretofore authorized to be issued at an election and hereafter issued and delivered in accordance with that authorization shall be the legal, valid, and binding obligations of the public body. Whenever an election has heretofore been called for the purpose of submitting to the voters of any public body the question of issuing bonds for any public purpose, those bonds, if hereafter authorized by the required vote and in accordance with the proceedings heretofore taken, and issued and delivered in accordance with that authorization, shall be the legal, valid, and binding obligations of the public body.

The above provisions ensure that all bonds of public bodies are validated.

(a) This act shall operate to supply legislative authorization as may be necessary to authorize, confirm, and validate any acts and proceedings heretofore taken pursuant to authority the Legislature could have supplied or provided for in the law under which those acts or proceedings were taken.

(b) This act shall be limited to the validation of acts and proceedings to the extent that the same can be effectuated under the California Constitution and the United States Constitution.

(c) This act shall not operate to authorize, confirm, validate, or legalize any act, proceeding, or other matter being legally contested or inquired into in any legal proceeding now pending and undetermined or that is pending and undetermined during the period of 30 days from and after the effective date of this act.

(d) This act shall not operate to authorize, confirm, validate, or legalize any act, proceeding, or other matter that has heretofore been determined in any legal proceeding to be illegal, void, or ineffective.

(e) This act shall not operate to authorize, confirm, validate, or legalize a contract between any public body and the United States.

The above provisions ensure that certain acts taken pursuant to legislative authority are validated, as well as specify that the Validating Act does not operate in certain manners.

Any action or proceeding contesting the validity of any action or proceeding heretofore taken under any law, or under color of any law, for the formation, organization, or incorporation of any public body, or for any annexation thereto, detachment or exclusion therefrom, or other change of boundaries thereof, or for the consolidation, merger, or dissolution of any public bodies, or for, or in connection with, the authorization, issuance, sale, execution, delivery, or exchange of bonds thereof upon any ground involving any alleged defect or illegality not effectively validated by the prior provisions of this act and not otherwise barred by any statute of limitations or by laches shall be commenced within six months of the effective date of this act, otherwise each and all of those matters shall be held to be valid and in every respect legal and incontestable. This act shall not extend the period allowed for legal action beyond the period that it would be barred by any presently existing valid statute of limitations.

The above provision requires any effort to contest the validity of actions or proceedings to occur within six months of the effective date on the Validating Act.

Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to render the creation of any public body, or any change in the boundaries of any public body, effective for purposes of assessment or taxation unless the statement, together with the map or plat, required to be filed pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 54900) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code, is filed within the time and substantially in the manner required by those sections.

The above provision requires specified paperwork for public body creation or boundary changes to be filed in compliance with provisions of the Government Code.

This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are: In order to validate the organization, boundaries, acts, proceedings, and bonds of public bodies as soon as possible, it is necessary that this act take immediate effect.

The above provision is an urgency clause, which allows the Validating Act to take effect upon signature by the Governor.

There are three of these bills that are enacted each year and are authored by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee annually.

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