CFA GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS OFFICE WEEKLY REPORT
"Letters Needed in Support of AB 2549"
2002 EDITION - Issue No. 26
September 3, 2002

CONTENTS:

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 September.

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
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814


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