CSU, UC Management Drop Opposition to SB 8 Transparency Bill

Senator Leland Yee

In a major breakthrough, legislation sought for nearly three years by CFA – along with Senator Leland Yee – to open the books of CSU foundations and other auxiliary organizations is now one huge step closer to being signed into law by the governor.

It was announced last week that system administrators in the University of California and California State University will no longer oppose Senate Bill 8 that would make their nonprofit foundations subject to the state’s open-records law.

Previous legislative efforts have been opposed by the administrations of UC and CSU and vetoed by former-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but this new compromise will remove the universities’ opposition, protect donor anonymity in most cases, and increase transparency at auxiliary organizations and foundations operating on public campuses.

The amended version of SB 8 will ensure UC, CSU and community college auxiliaries and foundations adhere to state public records laws. Under SB 8, financial records, contracts, and correspondence by public higher ed auxiliary organizations would be subject to public disclosure upon request.

The transparency bill currently awaits approval by the Senate Committee on Appropriations. It would then need to be approved by the full legislature, and eventually Gov. Jerry Brown. For his part, Gov. Brown launched investigations into CSU foundations and auxiliaries while he was state Attorney General.

Read newspaper editorials praising the breakthrough: