CFA GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS OFFICE WEEKLY REPORT
"Letters Needed in Support of AB 2549"
2002 EDITION - Issue No. 26
September 3, 2002
- Letters Needed in Support of AB 2549
- LEGISLATURE PASSES BUDGET - MORE CUTS EXPECTED BY DAVIS
- EDUCATION BACCALAUREATE DEGREE BILL DEFEATED
Letters Needed in Support of AB 2549
The fate of AB 2549, sponsored by CFA and authored by Assemblyman Joe
Nation (D-Sonoma), is now up to Governor Davis. The bill received final
legislative approval last week and is now on the Governor's desk. The
Governor can act upon the bill anytime between now and the end of
CFA has been working to gain the Governor's approval through many avenues
over the last month. We are encouraging all faculty members to write
individual letters to the Governor asking for his signature on AB 2549. In
addition, we are circulating support postcards to all faculty members,
which are to be returned to CFA's Government Relations office, so that we
can personally present them to the Governor's office. The letters should
not be done in lieu of the support cards, but rather as an additional sign
of support. A fact sheet is attached for you to use to craft your letter
of support. Thank you for your efforts.
LEGISLATURE PASSES BUDGET - MORE CUTS EXPECTED BY DAVIS
In the final hour of the legislative session, a 2002-03 state budget was
finally approved sixty days after the July 1 deadline. Last-minute
negotiations between Assembly Republicans and Democrats deleted proposed
tax increases on cigarettes and vehicle licensing fees. In lieu of an
anticipated more than one billion dollars in increased taxes for the
current year, Governor Gray Davis will need to cut an additional one
billion from the legislatures' budget plan. Along with other state
agencies, the CSU budget could be reduced by as much as five percent or
approximately $130 million. CFA is working to ensure the CSU budget is not
a target of further cuts.
If approved by Davis, the 2002-03 budget plan would eliminate 1,000 state
employee positions, and provide a temporary early retirement plan that
would provide two years of additional service credit. As part of the budget
deal, a constitutional amendment will be placed on the ballot asking voters
to dedicate up to three percent of future budgets for state infrastructure
needs such as highways and roads. The three percent dedication would cost
the state $950 million/year by 2006-07, and over four billion dollars by
2015-16. If voters approve the constitutional amendment, the CSU will be
even more susceptible to future budget cuts since less of the budget will
be available for "unprotected" state programs. Governor Davis is expected
to sign the 2002-03 budget by the end of the week.
EDUCATION BACCALAUREATE DEGREE BILL DEFEATED
SB 1646 (Alpert), which would have called on the CSU to develop four-year
elementary education baccalaureate degree programs, died on the last day of
session when the bill's author, Senator Dede Alpert (D-San Diego), decided
not to forward it to Governor Davis.
CFA was the only faculty or education advocacy organization on record that
was opposed to SB 1646. SB 1646 would have set a negative precedent by
having the legislature dictate curriculum issues. In addition, the bill
would have adversely impacted existing CSU blended credential programs, and
potentially jeopardize the availability of federal Pell Grants for CSU
students. CFA's concerns were mentioned in a San Diego Tribune editorial
released in the last weeks of the legislative session.
CFA was told that Alpert declined to forward the legislation to Governor
Davis after she learned the Governor's Office would likely be opposed.
AB 2549 FACT SHEET
Governor's Contact Information:
The Honorable Gray Davis
Governor of California
Sacramento, CA 95814
- AB 2549, sponsored by the California Faculty Association and authored
by Assemblyman Joe Nation, is a bill about collective bargaining and
equity for approximately 1,100 part-time CSU lecturers who are
currently denied the hope of a reasonable retirement.
- Specifically, AB 2549 would extend CalPERS retirement eligibility,
subject to collective bargaining, to part-time CSU lecturers who teach
6 weighted teaching units for two consecutive semesters or three
- Without the hope of a reasonable retirement many lecturers are finding
it increasingly difficult to remain within their preferred profession.
AB 2549 will give CFA the opportunity to bargain for benefits that
will be an important recruitment and retention tool, if the CSU is to
continue its mission of providing a high quality education.
- AB 2549 was recently amended to address concerns about potential
costs, given the State's current fiscal status. In its amended form,
AB 2549 would permit CFA to bargain for the benefit beginning January
1, 2003, but the benefit could not actually be provided, and therefore
no costs could be incurred, until July 1, 2004 at the earliest.
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