CPR. Girlie Men. Master Plan. "Gut-and-amend." It's interesting vocabulary if we are to learn about legislation and the Legislature!

The California Performance Review (CPR) was released to the public in late July and suggests changes to how the state operates (remember the Governor's quotes about "blowing up the box"). Many of the proposals in the CPR will likely be addressed by legislation in the new 2005-06 Legislative Session. We finally have a state budget that has been approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. As before, however, the clean-up or budget trailer bills that actually appropriate the funds contain some of the most worrisome elements. And legislation to enact several of the proposals in the Master Plan for Education was passed in the session's waning hours.

This is my third year on the Legislative and Governmental Relations Committee and my debut as the Chair of the Committee. I am fortunate to be a faculty member at a community college in the Sacramento area (American River College) and thus one benefit for the Committee is that I am able to attend many of the legislative hearings and to get first-hand knowledge of what is happening in the Capitol and report on these for the Academic Senate.

And we have a way to get this information out to you. The Legislative page on the Senate website provides legislative information-www.academic senate.cc.ca.us/Legislative/Legislative.htm. Plans are under way to display on this page a matrix of legislation (most of it dealing with "academic and professional matters"). This matrix will include background and analysis of each bill the Senate is tracking, plus a listing of a position (e.g., support, oppose, or watch) that might be taken by the Academic Senate either through resolution or as a result of Executive Committee deliberations. In addition, this page will provide links to legislative sites maintained by the Faculty Association for California Community Colleges (FACCC) and the Community College League of California (CCLC). We will also post legislative alerts about issues requiring your immediate attention or action, and we will offer advice about issues local senates can bring to the attention of returning legislators or candidates this fall.

Local senates may wish to appoint or elect someone to track these postings and familiarize their faculty with significant legislation and its implications for our colleges and our students. Information and Knowledge is Power! And we want every local senate to share this power.