Appropriations Committee Deadline
On Thursday, May 16, 2019, the Appropriations Committees in both the Senate and the Assembly took up its suspense files and quickly disposed of nearly 1,100 measures, sending hundreds of bills to the house floors.
Many of these bills were able to move on because of authors agreeing to amendments that addressed fiscal concerns, added coauthors, or reduced costs. Those bills now head to their house floors for a vote before they can go into the second house and move forward in the legislative process. Since we are in the first year of the two-year legislative session, the bills that did not make it out of the Appropriations Committee will, barring any rule waivers, be considered inactive for the rest of 2019 but can potentially be revived next year.
Some of the significant community college bills that survived the Appropriations Committee deadline including the following:
- Assembly Bill (AB) 2 (Santiago, D-Los Angeles), which would extend the California College Promise program to two years for qualified full-time students, would eliminate the requirement for qualified students to be considered “first time,” and would instead make any community college student who has previously earned a degree or certificate from a postsecondary educational institution ineligible from the program
- The committee amended the bill to reinstate the “first-time” requirement and allow districts to consider fewer than 12 units as “full-time” for a student designated as full time by a staff person in the disabled student services program
- AB 48 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach), which would put K-14 school facilities bonds on the 2020 and 2022 ballots
- AB 302 (Berman, D-Lao Alto)—Parking: Homeless Students. This bill would require a community college campus that has parking facilities to grant overnight access to those facilities, on or before July 1, 2020, to any homeless student who is enrolled in coursework, has paid any enrollment fees that have not been waived, and is in good standing with the community college—ACCCA opposes this bill
- AB 500 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego), which would require school districts, charter schools, and community colleges to provide at least six weeks of full pay for pregnancy-related leaves of absence taken by certificated, academic, and classified employees—ACCCA opposes this bill
- Senate Bill (SB) 291 (Leyva, D-Chino), which would establish the California Community College Student Financial Aid Program to be administered by the Board of Governors to provide community college students with additional financial aid to offset the cost of attendance—ACCCA supports this bill
- SB 568 (Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge), which would establish the College-Focused Rapid Rehousing Program to provide housing options for homeless students and provide services to support homeless students in transitioning to stable housing and remaining enrolled in college, contingent upon the enactment of an appropriation of state funds for this purpose, to be implemented by the public segments of higher education if they choose to participate in the program—ACCCA supports this bill
The bills passed by the Appropriations Committees, along with the scores of bills already awaiting consideration by the full Senate and Assembly, will be debated and will need to be approved by the house of origin by Friday, May 31, 2019. Bills that meet this deadline will then go to the second house where the committee process starts anew.
Senate Budget Subcommittee Takes Action on Governor’s CalSTRS Proposal
On Thursday, the Senate Budget Subcommittee #4 on State Administration and General Government voted to augment the Governor’s California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) proposal by providing additional contribution rate relief for employers as well as some relief from the increasing employer contributions to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.
The subcommittee voted to provide $630 million (one time non-Proposition 98), $130 million above the Governor’s proposal, to reduce the 2019-20 employer contribution rates from 18.13% to 16.33%, and approved $648 million (one time, non-Proposition 98), $238 million above the Governor’s proposal, to reduce the 2020-21 employer contribution rates from 19.1% to 17.3%. The subcommittee approved as proposed the Governor’s $2.3 billion proposal to reduce the employers’ share of the CalSTRS unfunded liability and reduce employer contribution rates long term, which is predicted to result in a 0.5% reduction in employer contributions beginning in 2021-22.
Additionally, the subcommittee voted to provide $257 million to reduce the CalPERS school district contribution rate from 20.73% to 18.93% and provide $264 million to reduce the 2020-21 rates from 23.6% to 21.8%. Governor Newsom’s revised Budget proposal does not provide any relief to employers on the CalPERS side.
The full Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee is expected to approve the Senate’s full budget on May 22, 2019. The Assembly Budget Subcommittees are expected to take action early next week on the 2019-20 State Budget items followed by a vote from the full Assembly Budget Committee. Once both houses approve their versions of the Budget, they will go into Conference Committee where they will negotiate the details of the Budget with the Newsom Administration before sending a Budget package to the Governor by the constitutional deadline of June 15.