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State Relations

The State Update

Is a document created by the Governmental Division and presented to both the Board of Governors and Consultation Council as an informational document that outlines legislation that is significant to the Chancellor’s Office and to the California Community College system.

State Update 2014


The State Legislature adjourned for 2013 on September 13, 2013, and will reconvene on January 6, 2014, for the start of the second year of the two-year session. Legislation introduced in 2013 that was not heard in a policy committee, must be heard by January 13, if the measure has a fiscal effect. Several bills are scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Higher Education Committee on January 7, 2014, and other committee hearings may be scheduled in the coming weeks. After the 2014 bill introduction deadline in February, policy committee hearings for these newly introduced bills will be scheduled beginning in March.

January 2014 Update (PDF)


The State Legislature reconvened on January 6, 2014, to start the second year of the two-year session and began with hearings for bills introduced in 2013 that are still eligible to pass in 2014. A few of these bills moved forward, but the vast majority of the bills we will be monitoring this year will be introduced by the bill introduction deadline on February 21, 2014. As we approach this date, we find that there are several significant policy issues that will be addressed in legislation, but some of the language in these bills is still placeholder statute. Bills with placeholder language are known as "spot" bills. Some of these spot bills may be used for a different purpose than the current subject of the bill. Other concepts for bills have been introduced in press releases but have not been assigned bill numbers and the language is not yet available to the public. While we are already tracking dozens of new measures, but we expect a significant increase in the number of bills introduced by the deadline this Friday.

February 2014 Update (PDF)


February 21, 2014, was the deadline for introducing legislation in the second year of this two-year session. While we still have bills introduced in 2013 that continue to be viable, there are many new bills that affect community colleges. A number of the newly introduced measures have placeholder language only or simply state legislative intent, these bills are known as "spot" bills. Because the topic of the measure is important, many of the spot bills are listed in the top priority level of our legislative matrix. As additional details become known, that status may change. By introducing spot bills, legislators meet the bill introduction deadline while allowing themselves more time to work on the language in the measure. This has become a much more common practice in recent years. However, in a number of cases the author’s staff has indicated that they will use the spot bill for another purpose or have no current plans for the bill.

March 2014 Update (PDF)


The Legislature is scheduled to begin their Spring Recess upon adjournment on April 10, 2014, and reconvening on April 21, 2014. A number of the bills we are monitoring will be heard after the recess at hearings on April 22, and April 23 in the Assembly Committee on Higher Education and the Senate Education Committee respectively. Bills that have been assigned to these committees may not be posted yet on the committee’s agenda. Legislation that has a fiscal effect must be heard by May 2, 2014 in the policy committee in the house of origin (e.g., Assembly bills addressing higher education issues must pass the Assembly Higher Education Committee by May 2). If the bill does not have a fiscal effect, or if it is not significant, the deadline for passing the policy committee of the bill’s first house is May 9, 2014.

                                                                            April 2014 Update (PDF)


While the Legislature continues to hear bills in policy and fiscal committees, another key deadline on the legislative calendar passed on May 2, 2014, when bills with a fiscal effect must pass the policy committee in the first house. For most of our bills of interest, the policy committees are the Senate Education Committee and the Assembly Committee on Higher Education. The next major deadline will be May 23, 2014, when all bills with a fiscal effect must pass the fiscal committee of the first house. These "fiscal" committees are called Assembly and Senate Appropriations. Many bills pass as amended in committees with recommended changes to address the committee’s concerns. In some cases, bills are analyzed based on draft language or proposed language that is not in print, but has been agreed upon by the committee and the author’s office. It may take several days after passage in committee for the amended bill to be available in print for the public.

                                                                              May 2014 Update (PDF)


A few key deadlines on the Legislative Calendar have passed since the May Board of Governors, and Consultation Council meetings. At this stage in the calendar, bills must have passed their policy and fiscal committees, as well as the floor in their house of origin. Some of the measures we have been tracking have failed deadlines, and are listed separately within each priority level (tier) in the matrix. The next milestone for policy bills is August 15, 2014, when all measures must pass the fiscal committee in the second house. This is a key deadline but in between now and then we have still have the state budget and its trailer bills to be reviewed and signed by the Governor to become effective on July 1, followed by a month long legislative recess from July 3 through August 4, 2014.

                                                                            June 2014 Update (PDF)


When the Legislature returns on August 4, 2014, that Monday morning the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a bill hearing that includes many of our Assembly bills of interest. Each house posts a "Daily File" that includes information on the Legislature and upcoming events. The Daily File must be checked constantly for revisions and updates. Besides the Appropriations Committee hearings, other legislative activity currently posted in the Daily File includes informational hearings and select committee hearings. Of note for higher education is the hearing scheduled by the Select Committee on Campus Climate on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Chaired by Assembly Member Shirley Weber, the Select Committee will "…Examine protocols and practices of California’s higher education institutions while exploring recommendations to encourage campus safety and promote healthier campus climates."

                                                                              July 2014 Update (PDF)

The is no State Update for the month of August, due to the fact that neither the Board of Governors nor Consultation Council convened during this month.


On August 14, 2014, both the Senate Appropriations and the Assembly Appropriations Committees met before the August 15, 2014 deadline for all measures to pass the fiscal committees (Appropriations) in the second house. The final fiscal deadline for the two-year session is one of the most significant deadlines on the legislative calendar. The fiscal committees announced which bills were "held," meaning they will remain in committee, and which bills will pass or pass as amended. Bills that are "held" cannot move further in the process. The amendments announced for bills that passed with amendments may not be in print for a few days. These amendments are often the result of compromises sometimes made just before committee and behind the scenes. In many cases, our initial information on the amendments is limited to the brief statements by the chair when announcing the measure. 

                                                                             Sept 2014 Update (PDF)


The Governor finished his work by today’s deadline, September 30, 2014, to sign or veto all bills in his possession. The official adjournment of the regular, two-year session known as "sine die" is at midnight on November 30, 2014, and the 2015-2016 two-year session convenes on December 1, 2014. Except for urgency measures, legislation signed by the Governor and chaptered into law becomes effective on January 1, 2015. The Budget Act and the budget trailer bills are urgency measures, and in our top priority level "tier 1," AB 13 (Conway), SB 174(De León) and SB 798 (De León) are urgency measures. Of note is that although the Governor signed AB 1476 (Committee on the Budget), a budget bill that makes technical changes to the Budget Act, he line-item vetoed $100 million in funding for the University of California and the California State University that would have been added to those system’s budgets for the current fiscal year.
                                                                              Oct 2014 Update (PDF)

Due to the fact that the 2014 legislative session has ended there will not be a November State Update. 

Due to the fact that the 2014 legislative session has ended there will not be a December State Update. 

State Update 2015


The Legislature was sworn in on December 1, 2014, and promptly recessed until January 5, 2015. A relatively small number of bills were introduced, but many more are expected by the February 27, 2015, deadline. Of the bills introduced in December 2014 for the 2015-2016 legislative session, approximately 16 measures affect community colleges. History tells us that by the bill introduction deadline we should see between 150 and 200 bills addressing community college issues.



The February 27, 2015, deadline to introduce legislation is fast approaching, and we have about 40 bills affecting community colleges currently listed on our legislative matrix. Recent history has shown that we should see four or five times the number of bills currently on our matrix by the time all of the bills have been introduced.


To meet the bill deadline, many members will introduce bills that have minor changes to current statute or are nearly void of language that would change state law. These measures are called “spot” bills and may be used to address issues very different than what is currently in the bill.  For example, a bill by Senator Walters was introduced with minor changes to statute affecting the Board of Governors. The changes are not substantive, and Senator Walters’ seat is now vacant with her election to Congress last November.  The measure was likely introduced for use by the minority caucus and/or her replacement.  Because the bill uses current law, and would make only minor changes, it passes the Legislative Counsel’s Office review without delay, ensuring it meets the bill introduction deadline.


February 27, 2015, was the deadline to introduce legislation in the first year of the 2015-16 legislative session. However, the State Legislative Update was written prior to this date and we expect many more bills to be added to our "bills of interest" that are not represented in this document. Please see the information at the end of this document to join our list serve to receive more information on legislation. A number of the bills recently introduced are placeholders and will have substantive revisions in the near future.
March 2015 Update (PDF)

With the deadline of May 1 for policy committees to hear bills with a fiscal effect, the fate of a number of bills is currently being determined. Because this is the first year of the two-year session, bills that do not meet the deadline are still "alive" because they can be heard next year. The measures that are not moving forward this year, but are still viable are called "two-year bills" and are often held back to resolve concerns raised by opposition parties or because more information is needed. As bills move forward they are often amended to comply with amendments recommended by policy committee staff and may be amended further if they move on to the Appropriations Committees to reduce the costs of the bill. Interested parties should continue to review the bill analyses and monitor changes in the measures after they pass in the committees. The next major deadline for bills will be on May 29, 2015, when measures must pass the Appropriations Committees in order to continue to move forward this year.

 May 2015 Update.pdf