Faculty-student advocacy pushes CFA-sponsored bills to floor votes

Untiring advocacy by CFA members and CSU students this year is paying off as support grows for three CFA-sponsored bills, two of which passed through the Senate today and one more headed for a floor vote this week.

SB 968 (Pan) to improve the number of mental health counselors serving CSU students on the 23 campuses passed unanimously 35-0 out of the Senate and is on its way to the Assembly.

As at universities across the country, the need for counseling services is increasing on CSU campuses, a development attributed to many causes. In particular there are deepening uncertainties faced by the CSU’s immigrant student population and increased frequency of racist incidents and threats on and around CSU campuses, a system with more than 70% students of color.

Meantime, SB 1421 (Skinner) was approved by the State Senate today on a bi-partisan a vote of 25-11 and is headed for the Assembly. This “Right to Know” law would make confirmed cases of police misconduct, including killings and sexual assault, more transparent. In a statement, the coalition of bill sponsors noted “secrecy further increases distrust in law enforcement…”

On the other side of the legislature, AB 2505 (Santiago), which would make CSU budgeting more transparent, got out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on a 12-0-5 vote with all Republicans on the committee abstaining. It goes to a full Assembly vote this week.

AB 2505 requires the CSU to make public reports to the legislature on key issues CFA has been questioning for many years. These include how many student applicants were qualified but denied a seat in the CSU. It also would make public the ratio of executives and managers to faculty and support staff, with reporting and analysis to inform recommendations to improve hiring policies.