Never a Dull Moment in Sacramento


In his State of the State message in early January, the Governor announced an ambitious public improvements program to be funded by $200 billion in bonds over a ten-year period. Several days later, the Governor's Office released his proposed budget for 2006-07. Needless to say, these announcements have created a flurry of interest throughout the state.

A series of bills have been introduced that set the stage for these bonds to be voted upon in upcoming general elections. The bills for the education portion of these bonds include ab 58 (nunez), ab 1836 (daucher) and sb 1164 (Runner). The fundamental difference is that the nunez bill gives a much higher share of he funds to community colleges. I recently attended the legislative conference of the community college league of california (the ceo and trustees group). Several of the legislators and legislative staff who spoke at the conference indicated that the bond proposals will be the #1 priority until the budget hearings start in march. Both the assembly and senate budget committees are currently holding informational hearings on these bonds. We will keep you informed of the progress of these bills through a senate Legislative Alert.

The Academic Senate's Legislative committee has two major goals each year. one is to inform the asccc President and executive committee of legislation of interest to faculty and to recommend positions for the academic senate to take on bills. The other major goal is to inform the faculty at all the colleges of such bills, promote dialogue and discussion among faculty about these issues and to provide information for local senates to have conversations with local legislators about these issues.

The committee has identified several bills that affect faculty, especially in the areas of "academic and professional matters." these bills include:

  • Ab 196-accountability (liu)
  • Ab 226-automotive technology education (bermudez)
  • Ab 232-nursing programs (arambula)
  • Ab 473-student fees (liu)? Ab 1072-student fee policy (liu)
  • Ab 1350-reimbursement of ccc fees (cogdill)
  • Ab 1425-career tech/voc ed faculty (daucher)
  • Sb 5-student bill of rights (morrow)
  • Sb 55-board agendas (lowenthal)
  • Sb 361-ccc budget formula (scott)
  • Sb 847-60% law re: adjuncts (ducheny)

The Legislative Committee will be tracking and following these bills through the legislative process and providing a faculty-based analysis of the bills. You can find more information on these bills through regulate updates on the Legislative Tracking page on the senate's website… and also with academic senate Legislative Alerts which will be emailed on a regular basis to Senate presidents and other interested parties.

The academic senate will be having its 2006 Spring Plenary Session this coming april at the sfo Westin in millbrae. The Legislative Committee will be presenting two breakouts at the session-one dealing with updates on current legislation and ways to access this information and another breakout on legislative advocacy-how you can use legislative information to inform your colleagues and local legislators.

I want to end this article on a personal note. I have had the honor to serve as chair of this committee for two years. And I am excited with the energy and enthusiasm of the members of the committee. This year, the members of the committee are Julie Adams (ASCCC Executive Director), Eva Mo (Modesto College), Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein (Santa Monica College), Bill Turini (Reedley College) and Shaaron Vogel (Butte College). Last year, Gary Holton (San Diego Mesa College) and Dave Clarke (College of the Siskiyous) served on the committee. I continue to work with Gary this year as he is a member of the ASCCC Executive Committee. And I have had the honor of working with Dave on this committee and several other senate committees and have always been impressed with his knowledge and insights. Thanks to all of you for showing the strength and vitality of California community college faculty.