Recap of 2020 Legislative Session: More than a Dozen CFA Sponsored, Supported Bills Signed; Work Still Left for Next Session
CFA achieved great legislative success during the 2019-20 legislative session, notwithstanding the immense challenges facing the California Legislature with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, statewide wildfires, and issues of homelessness, among so many others.
Governor Newson signed two CFA sponsored bills, officially making them the law of California. Another CFA sponsored measure, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5, is now pending approval by voters as Proposition 16 on the November ballots.
These measures align with our fight for anti-racism and social justice:
- AB 1460 (Weber) requires students at California State University (CSU) campuses to fulfill three units from Ethnic Studies courses in African American, Asian American, Latino/a or Native American studies. Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary and comparative study of race and ethnicity, engaging many areas of intersection. Students graduating from CSU in the 2024-25 academic year will the first to graduate with the Ethnic Studies requirement. AB 1460 is the culmination of a fifty-year struggle to ensure that students who are members of these ethnic groups have their history, cultures and experiences incorporated fully into the CSU’s core requirements, something beneficial to all students’ education.
- AB 1196 (Gipson) bans the statewide practice of the carotid restraint, or chokehold, by law enforcement. In the wake of nationwide demonstrations against structural racism and systemic injustice, this ban symbolizes the tip of the iceberg when it comes to enacting major policing reforms in California. CFA is taking important steps to reduce the abuse of power in policing on our campuses and in our communities.
- ACA 5 (Weber) was chaptered and placed on the November 3, 2020 General Election Ballot as Proposition 16, The Equal Opportunities for All Act. Proposition 16 seeks to end the ban on affirmative action in California and remove barriers in state contracting, employment and access to higher education for women and minorities. Proposition 16 seeks to level the playing field for everyone to succeed – especially women and people of color who are hurt the most by discrimination.
“This was an unprecedented legislative session. CFA had a very successful year despite the pandemic-induced ever-changing schedules and surprises,” said Steven Filling, CFA Political Action and Legislative chair. “We successfully sent 16 bills to the Governor and secured signatures on 13, including two CFA-sponsored measures.”
CFA continues to be a force in Sacramento as we enjoyed another productive year. In preliminary discussions with CFA the authors of three of our unsuccessful bills have already committed to reintroducing the bills at the start of the 2021 Legislative Session.