In this Issue:
- Vote 2020 Virtual Town Halls Recap
- End of Session Legislative Update
- Undocumented Student Action Week Toolkit and Kick-Off Event
- SAVE THE DATE: League Annual Legislative Conference, January 25-26, 2021
- Join Us for our Next Webinar: Tuesday, October 27, at 11:00 a.m.
- Federal Grant Opportunities
- Upcoming Events
Vote 2020 Virtual Town Halls Recap
On September 23rd, the League hosted a virtual town hall focused on Proposition 15, a ballot measure that would change how property taxes are assessed on commercial properties valued over $3 million. California State Senator Connie Leyva (SD 20), Veronica Carrizales from the Yes on Prop 15 Campaign, and Andrew Nickens, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges joined the town hall to present on Proposition 15. The webinar provided a discussion on the impact the initiative would have on local governments, k-12 schools, and community colleges.
While Proposition 15 would require that commercial properties over $3 million must be reassessed, it excludes agricultural and residential properties. They would continue to be protected as they have been under Proposition 13. The measure would split revenues collected by this reassessment with 60% going towards local governments and 40% going towards K-12 and community colleges. The share for education would equate to 89% for K-12 and 11% for the community colleges. The proposal also adds to the State Constitution that these funds would supplement current funding that the colleges receive and not supplant them.
The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office estimates that by 2025, the initiative would generate total property taxes from commercial land and buildings between $8 to $12.5 billion a year. The Yes on Prop 15 Campaign has created a webpage with their estimate of the share of new revenues for each local government, k-12 districts, and community colleges by county.
On September 16th, the League hosted a virtual town hall on Proposition 16, featuring Assemblymember Evan Low (AD 28), Michele Siqueiros from the Campaign for College Opportunity who served as the presenter for Proposition 16, and Andrew Nickens, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.
Proposition 16 was placed on the November ballot by the passage of ACA 5 authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (AD 79). The initiative seeks to strike from California's Constitution a ban on affirmative action. In 1996, California's voters passed Proposition 209, which prohibited affirmative action for public employment, public education, or public contracts. In regard to California's higher education, Proposition 16 potentially would allow an institution to change its enrollment practices. However, it should be noted 1) the use of a quota system for admission would still be illegal, and 2) the community colleges are open-access institutions and would not be impacted by this particular change in the law.
The benefit Proposition 16 would have on community colleges is related to a change in employment practices and the flexibility it offers for contracts with underrepresented groups. While California’s community college student population is extremely diverse, there is still a significant need for faculty and staff to be more reflective of the students who attend our colleges.
Election polling provides a snapshot of how voters are thinking. Below are the results of two polling surveys on Propositions 15 and 16.
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) conducted a statewide survey, interviewing 1,704 individuals from September 4-13 on the 2020 election and state and national issues. (Note: the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus of 3.5%.)
- “Fifty-one percent of likely voters would vote yes on Proposition 15 (changes tax assessment) and 40 percent would vote no. Forty-five percent of likely voters say the outcome of the vote on Proposition 15 is very important, with no voters 12 points more likely than yes voters to say this. (page 9)”
- “Thirty-one percent of likely voters would vote yes on Proposition 16 (allows diversity as a factor in employment, education, contracting), and 47 percent would vote no. Thirty-four percent of likely voters say the outcome of the vote on Proposition 16 is very important; fewer than half of both yes and no voters say this. (page 10)”
The Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies contacted 7,198 California registered voters, from September 9-15, 2020, with 5,942 of whom were considered likely to vote in the November 2020 presidential election. (This poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2%.)
- “The proposition with the most support is Proposition 15, the initiative to change the way property taxes are assessed on commercial and industrial property. When presented with its official ballot summary, 49% of likely voters say they would vote Yes, 34% would vote No, and 17% are undecided.”
- “The measure with the least support was Proposition 16 to allow diversity as a factor in government decision-making on policies relating to public employment, contracting and education. Just one in three likely voters (33%) are currently intending to vote Yes, 41% say they would vote No, and 26% are undecided.”
End of Session Legislative Update
Late in September, Governor Newsom acted on several community college-related bills that reached his desk after the Legislature adjourned in August. The Legislature introduced roughly 100 community college-related bills, but very few made through the process. In general, the Legislature focused on directly responding to COVID-19, equity in academic affairs, and addressing basic student needs.
The narrowing focus on legislation was in response to the global pandemic, which impacted legislation beyond those that affected community colleges. Two thousand bills were introduced, but only around 500 measures made it out. With the recession induced by the global pandemic, unplanned legislative recesses, and multiple legislators and staff testing positive for COVID-19, the state legislature significantly cut down the number of bills it considered this year.
Below is a list of community college-related bills that were signed by Governor Newsom. For a comprehensive list of all legislation introduced by lawmakers and considered by various policy or fiscal committees, click here: https://ccleague.org/advocacy/bill-tracking.
Legislation Signed by Governor Newsom:
AB 70 (Berman) – Conversation of For-Profit Institutions
This bill creates a framework and guidelines in which the attorney general may approve a for-profit institution that can convert into a non-profit or public college or university.
AB 1460 (Weber) – Ethnic Studies
Will require the California State University (CSU) to make a three-unit ethnic studies course a graduation requirement. Community college students who plan to transfer to the CSU will likely have to take this class at our institutions. The Academic Senate and others are currently evaluating the impact of this legislation on both the Associate Degree for Transfer and additional courses our colleges will be required to offer.
AB 2288 (Low) – Nursing Programs
The bill increases flexibility for nursing programs that face a reduction in clinical training hours due to the COVID-19 crisis.
AB 2416 (Gabriel) – Satisfactory Academic Progress
Will require colleges to consider homelessness a mitigating factor when considering appeals for students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
AB 2884 (Berman) – Lottery Dollars
Will permit lottery dollars to be spent on students' basic needs such as food and housing assistance. The bill creates additional flexibility for utilizing state lottery funds in addition to those that were included in SB 820, the education finance budget trailer bill passed in the middle of August.
SB 493 (Jackson) – Sexual Violence and Harassment
Will require the governing board of a postsecondary institution to create and disseminate a policy of nondiscrimination dealing with sexual harassment and violence amongst students by January 1, 2022. The bill defines sexual violence, sexual battery, and sexual exploitation. Additionally, the bill stipulates who on campus should be considered a "responsible employee" who must report sexual harassment incidents.
SB 1232 (Glazer) – CalWORKs
Would permit CalWORKs recipients at public universities to receive a $500 per semester benefit to pay for books and allows them to request reimbursement for classroom-related expenses above the allocated $500. Implementation of the bill is contingent on an appropriation via the state budget, which did not occur for 2020-21. Therefore, while this legislation provides an excellent program for our students who are CalWORKs recipients to receive additional funding, it will not be operative until the state legislature and the Governor provides funds in a state budget.
Undocumented Student Action Week Toolkit and Kick-Off Event
October 19-23, 2020, is Undocumented Student Action Week (USAW), a system-wide campaign to advocate and provide support resources for our undocumented student population. During the week, California Community Colleges are encouraged to engage in advocacy and support efforts in solidarity with undocumented students throughout the state.
Be sure to join the Chancellor’s Office System Webinar on Wednesday, October 14th, for the kick-off event. This year, the Action Week includes a series of audience targeted webinars open to the system. We encourage you to (1) plan to participate in webinars specific to your needs and (2) share this audience targeted webinar list with your colleagues.
In addition, colleges should complete the following actions:
- Send out a statement or press release regarding your college’s participation in the Action Week.
- Pass a resolution in support of undocumented students.
- Post on social media to promote the week and the webinars offered.
For more information about the week and resources to help you accomplish these actions, visit the Undocumented Student Action Week landing page here. Undocu-Liaisons and USAW Coordinators have already received the USAW toolkit via email.
SAVE THE DATE: League Annual Legislative Conference,
January 25-26, 2021
Every January, the League looks forward to hosting California Community College trustees, CEOs, PIOs, and community college advocates in Sacramento for our Annual Legislative Conference. In light of current health and safety restrictions due to COVID-19, the 2021 Annual Legislative Conference is being offered in a virtual format. Although we won’t be able to see you in person, we encourage you to save the date for our virtual conference: January 25-26, 2021.
The Annual Legislative Conference will offer attendees an opportunity to:
- Learn about important state and federal legislation and California Community College policy initiatives
- Provide input to help shape statewide policies and the League's federal advocacy agenda
- Hear from key members of the California State Legislature and staff
- Discover ways to advocate for your college/district in the digital age
Registration will open Friday, November 20, 2020. Registration rates will reflect the new virtual format of the 2021 conference.
Join Us for our Next Webinar: Tuesday, October 27 at 11:00 a.m.
Join the League's Government Relations Team for our last webinar of the calendar year. Receive important information regarding legislation and proposals discussed in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. that will impact you, your students, and your institution. This month, we will overview bills the Governor signed and share our legislative predictions for next year. The webinar will also include a special presentation of the League’s CEO Tenure & Retention Study, 9th Update and a panel discussion with three California Community College CEOs.
The October webinar will not be held on the third Tuesday of the month, as regularly scheduled. Instead, please join us on Tuesday, October 27th, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
NOTE: This will also be the last webinar of the year. The League’s Government Relations Webinars will resume in January.
Telephone Number: (646) 876-9923 or (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 623 780 059
Password is: 550660
Be sure to register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar.
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.
For a full list of federal grants available to community colleges, visit our Federal Grants page at www.ccleague.org/federal-grant-opportunites
ACCT Leadership Congress
Oct. 5–8 | Virtual Conference
ACBO Fall Conference
Oct. 26-28 | Virtual Conference
ACHRO Fall Training Institute
Oct./Nov. | Virtual Conference
Academic Senate Plenary
Nov. 5-7 | Virtual Event
Board of Governors Meeting
2020 CCLC Annual Convention
Nov. 17–20 | Virtual Conference
For more information, contact the League's Government Relations and Communications staff:
Andrew Martinez, Director of Government Relations | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan McElhinney, Policy and Advocacy Manager | email@example.com
Laura Murrell, Communications Manager | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rina Kasim, Member Resources Associate | email@example.com
Gerson Liahut-Sanchez, Government Relations & Communications Fellow | firstname.lastname@example.org