The 2019-20 California Legislative session concluded at 1:30 a.m. September 1. While the COVID-19 pandemic caused drastic changes in schedule and a reduction in the business taken up by the Legislature, CFA continued to be an active participant in the process.
The impact of our legislative advocacy is evident in the success of bills that CFA sponsored and supported. Assembly Bill 1460 (Weber), calling for a CSU graduation requirement of a single Ethnic Studies course, was signed into law by Governor Newsom. Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 (Weber) would repeal Proposition 209 and allow affirmative action in hiring and college admissions. ACA 5 was approved by the Legislature, and will appear as Proposition 16 on the November ballot. AB 1196 (Gipson), prohibiting the use of carotid restraint, or chokeholds, was approved by the Legislature and is on the Governor’s desk. Importantly, all of these bills were approved with bipartisan support.
Of course, not all of our efforts were successful – Senate Bill 1083 (Pan), which speaks to mental health counselor staffing, was one of the casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic-induced paring of legislation being considered in this session. We will continue our advocacy for suitable mental health services for our students and similar legislation may well be proposed in the next session. Likewise, our sponsored AB 66 (Gonzalez), which would strictly limit use of rubber bullets and tear/pepper gas on peaceful protestors, was one of the bills left in limbo on the Senate floor. CFA will continue working on legislation in line with our Statement of Anti-Racism and Social Justice Demands.
“CFA’s increasing influence on policy is evident and we had an incredibly successful legislative season,” said Steven Filling, chair of CFA’s Political Action and Legislative Committee. “We must now focus on the November election. We need to ensure that those elected share CFA values and that the initiatives we worked so hard to get on the ballot are successful.”
To view a full list of CFA-sponsored and supported legislation, click here. Over the next few months, CFA will be mobilizing faculty to get out the vote for November.