CFA GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS OFFICE WEEKLY REPORT
BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ADJOURNS INDEFINITELY
2002 EDITION - Issue No. 17
June 21, 2002

CONTENTS:


BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ADJOURNS INDEFINITELY

An education funding bill deferring over $1 billion in current
year school funding to the budget year beginning July 1 failed in
the Assembly when Republicans demanded an increase in school
district equalization funding.  (The Senate approved the bill
unanimously May 30).  In response, Senator Steve Peace (D-San
Diego), Chair of the Joint Budget Conference Committee, adjourned
the committee indefinitely on Thursday. Peace stated he will not
reconvene the budget conferees until Assembly Republicans agree
not to make the state budget a "political drill." The K-12
schools equalization funding issue was never brought up by
Republicans during budget conference deliberations, and Peace was
frustrated that the issue first surfaced when the Assembly floor
vote occurred.

Adding to the state's budget problems, Governor Gray Davis has
now requested a state reserve of $1.2 billion be established,
with an additional $500 million "contingency" reserve that would
fund various programs only if state funds were available. With
the new reserve levels, the budget conference committee is close
to $5 billion shy of achieving a balanced budget.


CFA MEMBERS TESTIFY FOR MASTER PLAN HEARINGS

On Wednesday, CFA President Susan Meisenhelder testified at the
State Capitol before the Joint Committee to Develop a
Kindergarten - University Education Master Plan.  The hearing
focused on recommendations contained in the Committee's draft
plan (available at ) relating to the
topic of affordability.

President Meisenhelder articulated CFA's strong belief that
student fees must be kept at reasonable levels to protect access
to higher education.  Meisenhelder cautioned the committee that
"any such policy must be crafted with the recognition that fee
increases often lead to reduced access for students from
low-income families."  Meisenhelder also conveyed her concern
with a nationwide trend, which indicates that college tuition is
increasing more rapidly than personal income. Senator Dede Alpert
(D-San Diego), chair of the Committee, expressed her belief that
student fee increases must be part of the solution for long-term
stable funding.  The issues of student fee increases and student
fee "buy outs" are two of the more contentious elements of the
draft report.  CFA will continue to work with the committee on
these and other issues.

Today CFA San Jose Chapter Legislative Chair Amy Rocha will be
testifying on CFA's behalf at a regional hearing.  On July 2nd,
Eloise McQuown, Chair of the statewide CFA Legislative Committee,
will testify during the statewide hearing in Sacramento and
provide general comments regarding the master plan.

Further regional hearings are currently scheduled for the
locations listed below.  CFA will be calling on local members to
represent us at these district hearings.

1)      June 27, 2002, 6pm - 8pm at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita
2)      June 27, 2002, 4pm - 6pm at Manhattan Beach Middle School, Manhattan Beach
3)      June 28, 2002, 2pm - 4pm at CSU, Sonoma (Person Theater)
4)      June 28, 2002, 9am - noon at the Orange County Department of Education
5)      June 28, 2002, 2pm - 4pm at CSU, Bakersfield (Business Development Ctr.)
6)      June 28, 2002, 3pm - 7pm at Pasadena City College (Harbeson Hall)

For more information on these hearings visit the Master Plan's webpage
listed above or contact David Stammerjohan, Legislative Advocate in the GR
office at (916) 441-4848.


CFA LECTURER RETIREMENT BILL SCHEDULED FOR HEARING IN THE SENATE ON MONDAY

George Diehr, Chair of CFA's Contract Development/Bargaining
Strategy Committee, will testify on behalf of AB 2549 (Nation)
before the Senate Committee on Public Employment & Retirement on
Monday, June 24th.  AB 2549 would, subject to collective
bargaining, qualify part-time faculty who teach six weighted
teaching units for two consecutive semesters or three consecutive
quarters to qualify for retirement benefits through membership in
CalPERS.

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