In This Issue:
- League Priority Bills in the Last Month of Session
- Facilities Issues Likely to Carry Over to Next Legislative Session
- League Monthly Government Relations Webinar
- Federal Grant Opportunities – Presented by Downs Government Affairs
- Upcoming Events
League Priority Bills in the Last Month of Session
The month of August is always a busy time in the State Capitol. Lawmakers have returned to Sacramento to close out the 2017-18 legislative session. Legislators have until the end of August to pass legislation on a wide variety of topics ranging from utilities and affordable housing to public safety many others. The Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees took actions on the Suspense Files (the list of bills with cost pressures above a certain threshold). Bills that passed out of Appropriations committees will go to the floor while bills that were held are considered dead for the legislative session.
The League monitored a total of 28 bills in suspense, 9 of which were held. We will continue working with authors of the remaining 19 priority bills that move to floor. Below is a brief summary of the status on key pieces of legislation. For a comprehensive list, including outcomes and amendments taken, click here.
AB 3101 (Carrillo) – CCC Apply
Status: AB 3101 passed Appropriations Committee with amendments that add Career Development and College Preparation students to the residency determination exemption.
This bill would require the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCC) to revise the lengthy and complicated CCCApply application on or before July 31, 2019. The bill would authorize the chancellor to delay the collection of that data until after the student has applied to a community college. The bill would exempt a student seeking to enroll exclusively in noncredit courses at a community college from community college residency classification requirements.
AB 2785 (Rubio) – Lactation Accommodations
Position: Concern – Amend (prior to Appropriations actions)
Status: AB 2785 passed Appropriations Committee with amendments that narrow of the scope of requirement for a sink to be installed.
This bill would require community colleges to provide lactation accommodation spaces. While the League does not have a formal position on the bill, and we believe this bill has merit, we do have concerns specifically related to cost pressures that we would like to share. Specifically, the League expressed concerns with the requirement in Section 66271.9 (e), which requires installation of a sink upon “replacement, expansion, or renovation of an existing building regularly used by the student body.” To rectify this, the language was accepted to specify that only the lactation accommodation space within the building being constructed or renovated is subject to the sink requirement.
AB 1435 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – Statewide Athletics
Status: Held in Senate Education Committee
An effective and well-coordinated advocacy effort involving the League, CCCAA, member districts, and special assistance from Sacramento City College Dean and Athletic Director Mitch Campbell, prevented passage of this well-intentioned yet troublesome bill. The League was able to successfully communicate the positive impact of community college athletics on student success and retention, and the author was unable to secure sufficient votes to advance the bill.
SB 1406 (Hill) – Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program
Status: Passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee
The bill repeals the requirement that a student must complete his or her degree program by 2023. This bill would require that a student participating in a baccalaureate degree pilot program commence his or her degree program by the beginning of the 2022-23 academic year. This bill would extend the inoperative and repeal dates for the authorization to establish pilot baccalaureate degree programs by three years. If your college is interested in weighing in on the measure, we urge you to download this template letter and send it to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
SB 577 (Dodd) – Public Post-Secondary Education: California Community College Teacher Credentialing Partnership Pilot Program
Status: Passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments that make the Chancellor’s Office the administrator of the program.
Summary: This bill, as amended would establish the California Community College Teacher Credentialing Partnership Pilot Program to award up to three grants, in the amount of $500,000 each, to collaboratives, that would be comprised of at least one accredited teacher-credentialing, degree-granting higher education institution with a physical presence in this state and at least one community college, for the purpose of offering one or more teacher credential degree programs at participating community college or colleges.
SB 968 (Pan) – Postsecondary education: Mental Health Counselors
Status: SB 968 passed with amendments that remove community colleges from counselor ratio requirement.
SB 968 requires the community college districts, CSU and UC to hire one full-time equivalent mental health counselor per 1,500 students at each of their respective campuses.
SB 1071 (Newman) – Uniform policy to award course credit for prior military education, training, and service
Status: SB 1071 passed with amendments that extend the time period the Chancellor’s Office has to develop policy and the time period that districts have to implement policy.
SB 1071 requires the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, in collaboration with the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges, to begin development of a uniform policy to award military personnel and veterans with an official Joint Services Transcript.
SB 1480 (Hill) – Professions and Vocations
Status: Passed Assembly Appropriations Committee
Summary: This bill would raise several types of licensing fees imposed by the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the Board of Podiatric Medicine, the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT), and the Naturopathic Medicine Committee. The League has been active on this bill. The author has indicated it will not take amendments this year that raise licensing fees.
SCA 8 (Moorlach) – Public Employee Retirement Benefits
Summary: This measure would permit a government employer to reduce retirement benefits that are based on work not yet performed by an employee regardless of the date that the employee was first hired, notwithstanding other provisions of the California Constitution or any other law. The measure would prohibit it from being interpreted to permit the reduction of retirement benefits that a public employee has earned based on work that has been performed, as specified.
AB 310 (Medina) – Part Time Faculty Office Hours
Status: Passed Senate Appropriations
AB 310 would require each community college district to report the total part-time faculty office hours paid, divided by the total part-time faculty office hours taught, and to post this information on its Internet Web site.
AB 1786 (Cervantes) – Credit for Prior Military Experience
Status: Passed Senate Appropriations
AB 1786 requires the Chancellor to establish, by March 31, 2019, an initiative to expand the use of course credit at the California Community Colleges for students with prior learning. PASSED
AB 1805 (Irwin) – Matriculation: Assessment and Placement
Status: AB 1805 passed with amendments that ensure confidentiality of student data.
AB 1805 requires a community college to inform students of their rights to access transfer-level coursework and academic credit ESL coursework, and of the multiple measures placement policies developed by the community college.
AB 1935 (Irwin) – Community Colleges: Tutoring
Status: Held in Senate Appropriations
AB 1935 authorizes non-credit apportionment for supervised tutoring for basic skills, degree-applicable, and transfer-level courses.
AB 2012 (Medina) – School and Community College Employees: Parental Leave
Status: Passed Senate Appropriations
AB 2012 requires academic and classified employees to receive no less than 50% of regular salary for the remaining portion of the 12-workweek period of parental leave regardless of the differential pay system used by the employer.
AB 3186 (Medina) – California Community Colleges: Competitive Bidding: Best Value
Status: Passed Senate Appropriations
AB 3186 deletes the repeal date applicable to best value procurement authority and extends these provisions indefinitely.
For an update on what occurred on all Legislation the League is tracking, please go to our website at https://ccleague.org/advocacy/bill-tracking.
Facilities Issues Likely to Carry Over to Next Legislative Session
This year, the League joined a coalition of school districts and counties to address issues regarding Assembly Bill 195 (2017) that will generate significant voter confusion and threatens the ability to meet the educational, housing, health, and many other needs of California residents. The League has sought for the Administration and Legislature to exempt local general obligation bonds from the requirements of AB 195/Elections Code Section 13119. An urgency measure is needed to mitigate the negative impact on future bond elections.
AB 195 (Obernolte) [Chapter 105, Statutes of 2017] [Elections Code Section 13119] mandates changes to the ballot label for local bonds. It was characterized as a technical fix, but the policy implications are far-reaching and damaging for the communities our agencies serve.
AB 195 Background:
AB 195 requires a local ballot measure that imposes a tax or raises the rate of a tax – including local bonds – to include on the ballot label:
- The amount of money to be raised annually.
- The rate of the tax to be levied.
- The duration of the tax to be levied.
The ballot label is the 75-word question that voters see on their ballot.
The ballot labels created by AB 195 are confusing and misleading to voters. The rate for a bond fluctuates on an annual basis to pay principal and interest costs. Public agencies attempting to comply with the law are now forced to insert rates into their ballot labels that are averages, projections, or statutory maximums, and may not be charged at such rates in any given year. As such, the information provided in the ballot label is misleading, and unlikely to provide voters an accurate depiction of rates over the life of the bond.
Similarly, the duration of a bond program can change when projects take longer than anticipated, due to economic conditions (recession, decreasing property values, etc.), changes in local priorities or the creation of new state mandates. Because ballot labels are capped at 75 words, these newly-required statements take up approximately one-third of the space that would otherwise be used to describe how bond proceeds will be spent in the community.
Effect of Voter Confusion:
Placing these statements in the ballot label generates confusion and ultimately causes more voters to vote “NO,” thereby reducing the passage rate of local bonds. Polling for the June and November 2018 elections shows a decrease of approximately 5 to 10 percentage points when these statements are placed in the ballot label, pushing many bonds below the threshold needed for passage. More importantly, this outcome is not a reflection of a change in voters’ personal beliefs regarding the use of bonds to fund critical infrastructure improvements. Rather, it shows that voters will default to a “NO” position when they do not fully understand what they are being asked to approve, or if the ballot labels create more questions than they provide answers.
Role of the Tax Rate Statement:
Transparency and accountability are critical for successful bond programs. That is why voters already receive detailed information about the mechanics of a proposed bond measure and the potential costs to taxpayers in the tax rate statement, which is included in the voter information guide. The tax rate statement is the proper location for such information, as it provides space for context and a thorough explanation. Placing the abbreviated (and consequentially inaccurate) statements required by AB 195 on the ballot label actually misleads voters, as they do not make sense in the context of bonds. Placing this information in the ballot label may also create legal issues. By placing the rate, duration and amount raised annually on the ballot label, bond counsel could interpret this as creating a cap on all three, making it difficult for public agencies to access the full amount authorized by voters and creating credit concerns with bond investors.
A remedy is urgently needed in order to preserve the ability of local entities to seek community supported bonds. After the adoption of AB 195, numerous entities with June and November 2018 bonds were forced to postpone when polling results dipped close to or below approval thresholds. A remedy is needed immediately that will allow time for governing boards to do complete and accurate polling and pass resolutions authorizing bond measures to be placed on the ballot. Unfortunately, despite a strong coalition of K-12, county, and community college advocates in support of a solution, it is unlikely that the Administration will approve trailer bill language that could exempt local education entities from this requirement. As a result, an AB 195 fix is expected to be a key priority carried forward to the 2019 legislative session. Advocates hope that a new administration will see the value of quality infrastructure supported by local communities.
League Monthly Government Relations Webinar
The 2017-18 legislative session will wrap-up at the end of August. Join the Community College League of California's Government Relations team for an end of session webinar. Hear about bills of importance to community colleges and how they will impact your students and college operations.
Date: Tuesday, September 18
Time: 10:00 - 10:45 a.m.
Meeting Link: http://bit.ly/LeagueGRWebinar3
Or by telephone: +1 (669) 900-6833 (U.S. Toll)
Meeting ID: 954 322 484
If you missed the League's August Government Relations Webinar, use the link below to download the webinar slides.
Federal Grant Opportunities
Presented by Downs Government Affairs
The League, in partnership with Downs Government Affairs, provides a list of federal grants to assist your community college in improving its programs and services. If you have any questions about the following grants, please feel free to reach out to Thomas Downs at TCDowns@downsgovaffairs.com.
Open Textbooks Pilot Program
Agency: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education
Estimated Total Program Funding: $4,950,000
Closing Date for Applications: August 29, 2018
Program Description: The Open Textbooks Pilot program supports projects at institutions of higher education (IHEs) that create new open textbooks or expand their use of open textbooks while maintaining or improving instruction and student learning outcomes. Applicants are encouraged to develop projects that demonstrate the greatest potential to achieve the highest level of savings for students through sustainable, expanded use of open textbooks in high-enrollment courses or in programs that prepare individuals for in-demand fields. For more info visit grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=307729
For a full list of federal grants available to community colleges, visit our Federal Grants page at: www.ccleague.org/federal-grant-opportunites
League CEO Tenure & Retention Study Webinar
August 29, 2018 | Webinar
AB 705 What Trustees Need to Know
September 11, 2018 | Webinar
League Monthly Government Relations Webinar
September 18, 2018 | Monthly Webinar
League Annual Convention
November 15-17 | Rancho Mirage, CA
For more information, contact the League's Government Relations and Communications staff:
Lizette Navarette, Vice President | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan McElhinney, Legislative Advocate | email@example.com
Laura Murrell, Communications Manager | firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerson Light-Sanchez, Legislative Fellow | email@example.com