Academic Senate

Capitol Watch

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This Month's Issue
Front Page
Message from the ASCSU Chair
Report of the Faculty Trustee
Reports from Standing Committees
Reports from Standing Committees

 Academic Affairs
Academic Preparation & 
   Education Programs 
 Faculty Affairs
 Fiscal and Governmental
General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC)
Capitol Watch
The California State University Emeriti and Retired Faculty Association (CSUERFA)
Book Review - Lesson Plan
Resolution Summaries
Thomas Krabacher (Sacramento)

The 2016 Legislative Landscape
As of the beginning of June all bills that are still active in the Spring 2016 legislative session (i.e. bills that still have a chance of being signed into law this year) have cleared their house of origin. In other words, both the Senate and Assembly have held floor votes on bills introduced in their respective houses and those approved in their house of origin have now been sent to the other house for consideration and action. Bills must be heard in and approved by the second house before end of August, at which point they then go to the Governor for his signature. He ordinarily has 30 days in which to act.

ASCSU 2016 Legislative Priorities
At its March plenary meeting the the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) identified 36 bills of potential interest in the 2016 legislative session. It ultimately adopted a "support" position on four bills, an "oppose" position on another four, and took a "watch" position on the remaining 27. (A complete list may be found here).

Acting on these priorities, the ASCSU has submitted letters stating its formal support for Senate Bill (SB) 1721 (expansion of Cal Grant B eligibility) and Assembly Bill (AB) 2163 (open presidential searches), and in opposition to AB 2214 (faculty royalty income disclosure).  The ASCSU also indicated its opposition to SB 1450, both in meetings with the author and in Senate committee hearings on the bill.


Another bill, AB 2386 (Williams) initially contained language that would have eliminated the faculty trustee guarantees approved by 2014’s AB 2324.  After conversations with the author’s office however (Assemblyman Das Williams), the controversial language has been removed.


As of this writing, 19 of the original 36 bills on the ASCSU list have cleared their house of origin and are now up for hearings in the other house.  These include three of the four bills supported by the ASCSU:  AB 2163 (Low), AB 1721 (Medina), and AB 1778 (Quirk).  The fourth bill, SB 1445 (Hertzberg), a taxation bill that would have directed additional revenue to the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC), failed to win Senate approval.   All four of the bills opposed by the ASCSU failed to clear their house of origin.


CSU Budget: the May Revise

The May revision to the State of California’s 2016-2017 revenue projections were somewhat more favorable than originally anticipated and, as a result, the proposed CSU General Fund Support Budget received an additional $1.1 million for the CSU Student Support Network, and an additional $25 million in one-time monies to fund initiatives aimed at improving graduation rates.  The latter is contingent upon the CSU articulating a clear plan for doing so by September of this year. The May revise report also warns, however, that the state is likely to face significant revenue shortfalls beginning in 2019-2020, even without an economic downturn, due to the disappearance of Proposition 30 revenues.


CSU Budget: Campaign for Fully-Funded 2016-17 Budget Request

This spring CSU stakeholder groups, including the ASCSU, participated in a campaign to persuade the Legislature to fully fund the Trustees’ 2016-2017 general fund budget request.  A similar campaign last year was successful and resulted in the allocation of an additional $97 million over and above of the Governor’s original proposed budget for 2015-2016. The request this year was for an additional $101 million in state support.


While the Assembly included it in its 2016-2017 budget proposal, the Senate did not.  Ultimately, however, caution over a possible economic downturn and the needs of competing stakeholder groups meant the campaign was unsuccessful, and the additional funding was not included in the final budget deal, hammered out by Legislative leadership and the Governor, that was announced on June 9th.


The 2016-2017 budget does include, however, an additional $12.5 million to the Governor’s proposed CSU baseline budget, bringing it up to $160 million.  Also included is an additional $25 million in one-time monies to augment those proposed in the May revise for the purpose of improving graduation rates, bringing the total up to $50 million.

Please feel free to write to me at with any questions or concerns.

You can monitor the process of any given bill and committee hearing schedules at either or