2020–21 State Budget Proposal
While there were hopes that Governor Gavin Newsom would release his 2020–21 State Budget proposal before the January 10 constitutional deadline, it looks as though Governor Newsom will not submit his Budget proposal until sometime on Friday.
We will provide more information about what is in the Governor’s 2020–21 Budget proposal over the next week and will provide updates on the proposals as they are vetted by legislative budget subcommittees over the next several months.
Legislature Kicks off the 2020 Legislative Session
On Monday, January 6, 2020, the California State Legislature officially reconvened for the second year of the 2019–20 Legislative Session.
Assembly Republicans start the year down one member as over the recess Assemblymember Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley officially changed his party affiliation from Republican to “no party preference.”
The Democrats go into the 2020 legislative year with supermajorities in both houses with 61 Democrats to 18 Republicans (and one “no party preference”) in the 80-seat Assembly and 29 Democrats to 10 Republicans (and one vacant seat) in the 40-seat Senate.
As of this writing, no community college-specific bills have been introduced, but some of the biggest issues we expect to see continue for community colleges in 2020 include:
- Financial Aid—Access to higher education financial aid will be a significant issue for lawmakers to consider in 2020, and we will likely see the revival of two bills that were shelved last year to give lawmakers more time to work on them: Senate Bill (SB) 291 (Leyva, D-Chino), which would establish the California Community College Student Financial Aid Program and Assembly Bill (AB) 1314 (Medina, D-Riverside), which would significantly reform and simplify the Cal Grant award system
- Faculty Obligation Number and 50% Law—Senator Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) shelved SB 777 last year, which would require community college districts below the 75% full-time faculty threshold to annually reduce the deficit between their existing full-time faculty percentage and the 75% goal by 5%, in order to work with the Chancellor’s Office and stakeholders as well as possibly adding language to revise the 50% law
- Homeless Students—While the enacted 2019-20 Budget included $9 million in ongoing funding to assist the system’s homeless population, we would not be surprised to see Assemblymember Berman (D-Palo Alto) revisit the issue and use AB 302, a bill he shelved last year after it was amended by the Senate Appropriations Committee, as a vehicle for these conversations
Any bill that was introduced in 2019 has until Friday, January 31, 2020, to make it out of the house of origin and into the second house. Additionally, the Legislature has until Friday, February 21, 2020, to introduce new legislation for the 2020 year. We will continue to provide updates on significant bills that have implications for community colleges as they introduced and move through the legislative process.