CFA GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS OFFICE WEEKLY REPORT
2002 EDITION, Issue No. 4
March 01, 2002
- CFA MEMBERS AND STUDENTS LOBBY LEGISLATORS ON CONTINUING CRISIS IN THE CSU
- STATE FISCAL CONDITION DARKENS
- CFA JOINS CAMPAIGN TO DEFEAT PROPOSITION 42
- LEGISLATURE ASSIGNS NUMBERS TO CFA-SPONSORED BILLS
CFA MEMBERS AND STUDENTS LOBBY LEGISLATORS ON CONTINUING CRISIS IN THE CSU
Asking legislators to "Stand Up for the CSU -Stop the Ripoffs",
nearly 100 CFA members and students from nineteen campuses spoke
with legislators about the dangerous trends threatening the
instructional mission of the CSU. In their meetings, CFA
lobbyists advocated on behalf of CFA sponsored budget and
legislative proposals to address these trends. CFA's lobby day
message was carefully crafted and delivered to focus on the need
to increase instructional dollars and hold the Administration
accountable for dollars allocated to the CSU.
Lobby Day events began Tuesday evening when a number of
legislators joined CFA member and student lobbyists for an
informal "political insights" discussion. This discussion served
as a "political reality check" regarding the context in which CFA
was delivering its message. Attending the panel discussion were
CFA-member Senator Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles); Senator DeDe
Alpert (D-San Diego), Chair of the Senator Appropriations
Committee; Assemblymember Marco Firebaugh (D-Los Angeles),
Assembly Majority Leader and Chair of the Legislative Latino
Caucus; and Assemblymember Judy Chu (D-Los Angeles) who sits on
the Assembly Higher Education Committee. Assemblymember Jenny
Oropeza (D-Long Beach), the newly appointed Chair of the Assembly
Budget Committee, was the keynote speaker kicking off Wednesday's
Feedback from our lobby teams and lobbying reports show that
legislators were generally positive about CFA's proposals. The
CFA Government Relations staff is busy following up - both in the
Capitol and district offices -- on member lobbyist visits. A
copy of the Lobby Day packet - "Standing Up for the CSU:
Accessibility, Affordability, Accountability" -- is being mailed
to all legislative district offices next week. To receive your
copy of this packet, please e-mail the CFA Government Relations
Office at email@example.com.
A special thanks is extended to all of our member and students
lobbyists who made this lobby day a huge success!
CFA's final lobby day of the year is scheduled April 15-16th.
With budget deadlines fast approaching and legislative committees
beginning to hear CFA-sponsored bills, it is important that we
have even more lobbyists to help support and deliver our message.
Please plan on attending.
STATE FISCAL CONDITION DARKENS
Last week the Legislative Analyst? Office (LAO) reported that
California's deteriorating fiscal condition will necessitate
deeper than anticipated budget cuts. The LAO warned legislators
that an additional $5 billion in reductions may be necessary,
bringing the total shortfall to $14.5 billion. The LAO's
analysis already accounts for the $3 billion in reductions
approved by the Legislature in January.
The LAO noted that the shortfall could grow significantly if the
State fails to receive anticipated federal funding or if the
economic recovery is delayed. The LAO also warned that many of
the solutions proposed in the Governor's budget (borrowing,
payment deferrals, transfers and other one-time solutions) would
lead to significant operating deficits in subsequent years.
The Governor's January budget proposal outlined several spending
increases for the CSU. However, the State's deepening fiscal
crisis may ultimately necessitate reductions to the CSU budget.
For example, the deterioration of the State's fiscal condition
could all but wipe out the proposed 1.5 percent increase to the
CSU's base budget (from which the faculty compensation pool is
drawn) for fiscal year 2002/03.
Unfortunately, higher education is often a low budgetary
priority, suffering deep cuts in poor economic times. CFA will
continue to monitor the 2002/03 budget process.
CFA JOINS CAMPAIGN TO DEFEAT PROPOSITION 42
On Wednesday the CFA Board of Directors voted to join with the
California Teachers Association (CTA) and Service Employees
International Union (SEIU) in waging a major campaign to defeat
Proposition 42 - Transportation Funding: Sales and Use Tax
Revenues. This initiative, if passed, would drain billions of
dollars from the state's general fund - at least $1.4 billion per
year when fully implemented -- and earmark them for
transportation use only. Proposition 42 would force cuts in
education, health care and other services to fund transportation
projects. At its December Board meeting, The CFA Board voted to
ask all members to vote NO ON PROPOSITION 42.
This week the CFA Board also approved expenditures to support the
"YES ON PROPOSITION 45" campaign to extend term limits. This
initiative would allow legislators to stay in office four more
years. The harsh term limits imposed in 1990 have hurt the
leadership in California's legislature and threaten to eliminate
institutional memory. Proposition 45 would allow us to keep our
"warriors" in office and create stability in the leadership and
LEGISLATURE ASSIGNS NUMBERS TO CFA-SPONSORED BILLS
Numbers were assigned to the legislation CFA is sponsoring this
half of the legislative session. The bills include:
SB 1450 (Romero) - Dedicating 50% of the CSU Budget to Instruction
The CSU instructional budget has declined dramatically over the last 10
years from 53.4% in 1990-91 to 41% in 2000-01. The percentage of the CSU
budget dedicated to faculty compensation has deteriorated even further. Like
K-14 schools, this bill requires that 50% of the CSU budget be spent on
AB 2549 (Nation) -- CalPERS Eligibility for Half-Time Lecturers
This bill allows CSU lecturers teaching half-time (six weighted
teaching units) to be eligible for CalPERS retirement benefits.
Governor Davis vetoed last year's CFA-sponsored AB 1081 (Nation),
citing the bill's potential costs and concerns that AB 1081
"would result in pressure to provide similar benefits to other
CalPERS members." CFA is re-introducing this bill, amended to
address the concerns cited by Davis.
CFA is also co-sponsoring two other pieces of legislation. These
SB 1661 (Kuehl) -- Paid Family Leave Benefits (Co-Sponsor)
CFA is co-sponsoring legislation with the California Labor
Federation (CLF) and the Coalition for Family Leave Income to
enact paid family leave benefits for employees with California
State Disability Insurance coverage. Employees would be eligible
for up to 12 weeks of family leave payments for the birth or
adoption of a child, or to care for a seriously ill child, parent
or spouse. Family leave benefits would be equivalent to SDI
benefits (ie. 55 percent of base period earnings, up to a maximum
of $490/week based on 2001 figures). Collective bargaining
agreements with more generous paid family leave provisions would
not be affected by the legislation.
SB 277 (Chesbro) -- HMO-Eligible Reimbursement for Healthcare
HMOs have recently suspended offering medical coverage in rural
and urban counties to CalPERS employees, which has placed a
financial burden on many CSU faculty and staff. This bill allows
CSU employees to be reimbursed for a medical plan's deductible
costs as well as the premium cost-differential between an HMO and
other available health plans.
In addition to these sponsored bills, CFA will be advocating
several budget proposals to:
1) Ensure adequate funding
2) Invest in instructional quality by implementing minimum
instructional expenditure requirements and formally committing to
eliminating the faculty salary lag,
3) Maintain affordability and access by holding CSU student fees
at current levels.
4) Increase administrative accountability by requiring the CSU to
account for enrollment growth expenditures, and
5) Control wasteful spending by placing cost controls on the
CSU's Common Management System (CMS) project and restricting the
diversion of instructional funds that are used to support the