Legislative Updates

1. Introduction

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) is the voice of the faculty of California’s 113 Community Colleges regarding academic and professional matters.  In fulfilling this role, one of the ASCCC’s important functions is to represent faculty positions to the governor, the legislature, and other government agencies regarding potential, proposed, or chaptered legislation.  The ASCCC accomplishes this function through legislative visits, written communication, cooperation with system partners, and other methods.

The intent of this page is to keep faculty statewide informed regarding the ASCCC’s positions and activities regarding legislation and legislative actions.  Here you will find copies of communications sent by the ASCCC President to legislators, the governor, and others as well as other updates on legislative activity.  We hope that this information will help to enable local senates in fulfilling their own roles in representing faculty in their districts and on their campuses.

2. Resources

Legislative Tracker:

To follow current legislation, the ASCCC recommends using the tracker on the FACCC web site.  It can be found here.

Additional useful information regarding legislative activity can be found on the governmental relations tab of the website of the Community College League of California, which can be found here.

3. What We Do To Represent You

The ASCCC represents the faculty of California’s Community Colleges regarding legislation and legislative issues in various ways. 

Several times each year, Academic Senate representatives take part in “legislative days” on which they hold a series of meetings with various legislators or their aids to express faculty perspectives and positions on pending or potential legislation.  These activities are typically conducted as joint ventures with the Senate’s academic partners, including representatives of the CSU and UC faculty leadership, the Chancellor’s Office, the Board of Governors, The Student Senate for California Community Colleges, and other statewide organizations.

A similar activity in which the ASCCC participates may involve advocacy regarding a specific piece of legislation.  In this case, ASCCC representatives may form part of a panel with system partners such as the Community College League of California (CCLC), the faculty unions, and others.  The panel holds a series of interviews with legislators and legislative aids over the course of a day, delivering a common and consistent message on the bill in question in an attempt to sway the votes in the legislature.

The ASCCC also frequently sends written statements of support or opposition for specific bills to members of the legislature, legislative committees, and the governor.  These letters may be the sole work of the ASCCC or may be composed jointly with our university colleagues or with other organizations.

The ASCCC also testifies before bodies such as the Education Committees of the legislature, the Little Hoover Commission, and others.   In this role, ASCCC representatives deliver formal statements and answer questions regarding faculty positions and makes arguments in favor of or against specific bills or policy directions. 

Finally, ASCCC representatives may work less formally to communicate faculty positions and views to the legislature.  In Sacramento, numerous opportunities arise in which faculty leaders may speak individually to legislators or legislative staff at various types of events and meetings.  ASCCC representatives take advantage of any opportunity to express faculty views and present faculty positions.

4. How ASCCC Differs from Local Academic Senates

In terms of legislative advocacy and lobbying, the rules governing the ASCCC and local academic senates differ.  For the purpose of understanding these rules, lobbying is essentially a subset of advocacy.  Advocacy involves active support for a cause, idea or policy and is a general term involving a broad set of activities.  Lobbying is an attempt to influence specific legislation and is defined by the IRS as well as various states and localities, often because of the limitations on the ways in which funds can be used for lobbying purposes. 

The restrictions and guidelines for local academic senate activities are defined by California Education Code sections 7050-7068.   The following excerpt from “Advocacy at the Local Level:  What Your Senate Can Do to Stay Informed and Active,” published in the November 2103 Senate Rostrum, explains the activities in which local academic senate can and cannot engage:

Ed Code section 7054 (a) states that “No school district or community college district funds, services, supplies, or equipment shall be used for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure or candidate, including, but not limited to, any candidate for election to the governing board of the district.”  In short, academic senates cannot use any district resources to support or oppose any candidate or ballot measure.  This restriction applies not only to district funds but also to materials, email, and even employee time when the employee is scheduled to work.  Any discussion of ballot measures or elections among senators therefore should not take place on campus or during academic senate meetings.

However, Ed Code section 7054 (b) adds that “Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of any of the public resources described in subdivision (a) to provide information to the public about the possible effects of any bond issue or other ballot measure if both of the following conditions are met:  (1) The informational activities are otherwise authorized by the Constitution or laws of this state. (2) The information provided constitutes a fair and impartial presentation of relevant facts to aid the electorate in reaching an informed judgment regarding the bond issue or ballot measure.”  Academic senates may therefore publish information to educate the public regarding the impact of a given ballot measure as long as they do not advocate either for or against the measure.

Legislative Positions

Datesort ascending Bill Author ASCCC Position Summary Position Letter
April 26, 2016 AB 1721 Medina Support AB 1721 would “express the intent of the Legislature to renew California's commitment to college affordability by increasing the aid available to needy students through expanding the Cal Grant Program.” PDF icon AB 1721 Support.pdf
April 10, 2016 AB 2412 Chang Oppose AB 2412 would establish an incentive program for the completion of industry-recognized credentials in specified occupational areas by students enrolled at participating campuses of the California Community Colleges PDF icon AB 2412 Oppose - Letter.pdf
April 18, 2015 AB 798 Bonilla Support AB 798 would establish the College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015 in order to reduce costs of college textbooks by encouraging faculty to consider the adoption of open educational resources. PDF icon AB 798 Letter of Support from Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.pdf
April 16, 2015 AB 288 Holden Support AB 288 would authorize the governing board of a community college district to develop and enter into a partnership with the governing board of a school district to establish seamless pathways from high school to community college for career technical education or preparation for transfer. PDF icon AB 288 Support Letter
April 14, 2015 AB 770 Irwin Support if amended AB 770 would establish a financial grant and professional development funding program directed toward expanding the use of evidence-based models of academic assessment, placement, remediation, and student support. PDF icon AB 770 Letter of Support
April 13, 2015 AB 626 Low Support AB 626 would require expenditures of Student Success and Support Program Funds to increase the ratio of full-time to part-time faculty under certain circumstances, support funding for part-time faculty office hours, and express the intent of the Legislature that the California Community Colleges Board of Governors work together with the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and other relevant entities to establish appropriate goals for a full- to part-time faculty ratio in noncredit education. PDF icon AB 626 Letter of Support from Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.pdf
March 31, 2015 AB 490 Alejo Support AB 490 would restore funding for the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and the Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) in California’s community colleges. PDF icon AB 490 Letter to Assemblymember Alejo.pdf
March 18, 2015 SB 42 Liu Oppose SB 42 would establish a new Commission on Higher Education Performance and Accountability. PDF icon SB42 Postsecondary Education California Commission on Higher Education Performance and Accountability.pdf
PDF icon SB 42 Letter - April 27 2015.pdf