July, 2018

In This Issue:

  • Supreme Court Rules Against Public Employee Unions
  • Legislators Take Action on League Priority Bills
  • Senate Committee on Help, Employment, and Labor (HELP) Passes Perkins Reauthorization Act
  • Federal Grant Opportunities - Presented by Downs Government Affairs
  • Upcoming Events

Supreme Court Rules Against Public Employee Unions

In a 5-to-4 vote, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Janus vs. ASFCME that public  employees cannot compel their members to pay agency fees. The Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME overturned forty-plus years of case law that authorized mandatory union service fees in public sector employment. The Court’s decision indicates that public employers and unions that represent public employees can no longer mandate as a condition of employment that employees pay a service fee for the portion of union dues for activities such as collective bargaining.  

This decision is expected to lead to numerous public employees electing to leave their union. Employee organizations are also concerned about a reduction in resources available to advocate for employee benefits either at the worksite or in Sacramento. The concern is most prevalent among employee organizations that represent part-time faculty members as they make up a disproportionate share of agency fee payers.

In response, Governor Brown has signed into law SB 866, budget trailer bill language intended to support unions in promoting the benefits of being a member and to establish procedures an employee must follow in order to leave a union. Unions will now be responsible for processing requests for members to leave the union and colleges must rely on the union representatives when determining whether an employee has followed the correct procedure when electing to leave the union.

To help districts implement new policies and procedures to be compliant with Janus vs. ASFCME and SB 866, the Chancellor’s Office has issued an advisory opinion.

League’s Senate Bill 866 FAQ

Legislators Take Action on League Priority Bills

A key deadline at the end of June prompted a flurry of actions in the legislature. The policy committees met to take final action on a large variety of bills, many of which that would impact the work and scope of community colleges. Two noteworthy bills were SB 1406 (Hill) and AB 1435 (Gonzalez Fletcher).

AB 1435 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – 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) – PASSED out of Assembly Higher Education Committee

In late June the Assembly Higher Education Committee voted unanimously (12-0) to extend the sunset date for our sector’s 15 baccalaureate degree pilot programs to the year 2026. The bill repeals the requirement that a student must complete his or her degree program by 2023. San Diego Community College District Chancellor Constance Carroll and the League’s President Larry Galizio testified in favor of the bill.  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.

For an update on what occurred on all the pieces of Legislation that the League is tracking, please go to our website at https://ccleague.org/advocacy/bill-tracking.

Senate Committee on Health, Employment and Labor (HELP) Passes Perkins Reauthorization Act

Late last month the Senate HELP Committee unanimously passed the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which would reauthorize career technical education programs governed by the Perkins Act.  While the bill is not a significant departure from provisions that were last reauthorized in 2006, there are some major policy changes. They are:

Increase in CTE Funding: Authorizes an increase of $100 million over five years for programs governed by the Act.  

Performance Goals: States will set their own performance levels and draft plans to accomplish them after engaging with the public. States must submit their plan to the Department of Education, which will have the authority to step in if the state does not make meaningful progress towards their goal.  If a state fails to meet 90% of performance objectives for two consecutive years (currently set at three), the Department of Education would be authorized to withhold funding.

Data Disaggregation:  States would be required to disaggregate data for all performance indicators by race, gender and defined special populations.  Additionally, it expands the definition of special populations to include former foster youth, youth with a parent who is an active military member and homeless individuals.

The League has joined a coalition that is asking add provisions to the bill that would create a “Centers of Excellence” program that would provide additional funding for two-year colleges to build innovative CTE programs in partnership with their business and industry partners. While not included in the bill as it was passed out of the committee, the League is hoping that these provisions will be added before it goes to the Senate Floor.

For a more complete analysis of the bill prepared by the Association for Career Technical Education, please click here.

Federal Grant Opportunities

Presented by Downs Government Affairs

Check out the League’s full list of federal grants available to community colleges! Visit our Federal Grants page at: www.ccleague.org/federal-grant-opportunites

Upcoming Events

  • Consultation Council, July 19, Sacramento CA
  • Student Trustees Workshop, Aug. 10-12, San Francisco, CA
  • League Legislative Webinar,  Aug. 14
  • 2018 League Annual Convention, Nov. 15-17, Rancho Mirage

For more information, contact the League's Government Relations and Communications staff:

Lizette Navarette, Vice President | lizette@ccleague.org
Ryan McElhinney, Legislative Advocate | ryan@ccleague.org
Laura Murrell, Communications Manager | laura@ccleague.org
Gerson Light-Sanchez, Legislative Fellow | fellow@ccleague.org