AB 1151 Revises Civic Center Act And How Districts May Grant Use of Facilities

CATEGORY: Public Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Public Education
DATE: Aug 30, 2023

On July 13, 2023, AB 1151 amended Education Code Sections 82537, 82542, and 82548 and added Section 82543, which are part of the Civic Center Act. The Civic Center Act permits community college districts to grant organizations permission to use their facilities and grounds when such use does not interfere with instruction programs or services. The Civic Center Act distinguishes between (1) nonprofit organizations or clubs or associations organized for general character building or welfare purposes, and (2) all other organizations that may use the facilities. When a district grants use to an organization in the first category, the district may charge an amount not to exceed:

  1. The cost of opening and closing facilities, if no employee would otherwise open and close the facilities as a part of their normal duties.
  2. The cost of an employee’s presence during the organization’s use of the facilities, if necessary, and if that employee’s presence is not part of their normal duties.
  3. The cost of janitorial services, if necessary, and if not part of the janitor’s normal duties.
  4. The cost of utilities directly attributable to the organization’s use of the facilities.

For organizations in the second category, districts may charge either: (1) direct costs or (2) the fair rental value.

AB 1151 revised the definition of organizations in the first category. Previously, Education Code Section 82542, subdivision (a), listed numerous examples of these types of organizations, such as parent-teachers’ associations, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, and senior citizens’ organizations.  The revised statute now broadly identifies the first category of organizations as nonprofit organizations or clubs or associations organized for “athletic activities for youth, charitable purposes, educational purposes, or the civic well-being of the community.” This amendment simplifies and clarifies what groups districts may grant use of facilities to and which organizations may only be charged the enumerated amounts for their use.

AB1151 also grants districts the right to permit organizations, clubs, or associations organized for youth or senior citizens and for cultural activities to use district facilities without charge.  It also added Education Code Section 82543, which requires that when districts grant the use of their facilities, districts must give priority access to organizations that serve people from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.

Finally, the legislature increased the minimum insurance coverage amounts that are required for users from $300,000 to $1,000,000. However, districts may require more than this minimum coverage.

The Chancellor’s Office plans to readopt the corresponding regulations that had sunset according to their terms. The regulations have not been amended from their prior form and will go into effect on August 24, 2023. The regulations set forth how districts shall calculate the amount to charge users.

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