Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Higher Ed Oil Tax Bill AB 656 to be Heard Today

Assembly Bill 656 will go through its first committee hearing today in the Assembly Higher Education Committee hearing.

AB 656 would place a severance tax on oil & natural gas extracted in California, generating an estimated $1 billion in funding that would be placed in the California Higher Education Fund, a fund that would disburse this funding into the CSU, UC, and Community College systems.

Supporters for funding higher ed are encouraged to come out and attend the hearing.

Event: Assembly Higher Ed Committee Hearing
Time: Tuesday, June 23, 2009, starting at 1:30pm
Location: Sacramento Capitol, Room 437

You can watch the meeting later this afternoon here: http://www.calchannel.com/

The hearing room and outside hall was packed with students, faculty, and other supporters. CSU students were well represented, with UC and Community College students also in attendance. Unfortunately, Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico (D-Newark), the bill's author, announced that he wanted the committee to hold off on voting on the bill due to the Democrats including an oil severance tax in their current budget proposal, which was expected to come up to a vote within the next few days.

After the hearing, Torrico addressed supporters in the outside hall and made it clear that he had the votes needed to pass it in the Assembly Higher Ed Committee and that it would be voted on within the next few weeks. He was also joined by fellow committee members Marty Block (D-Lemon Grove), and Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), who also pledged their support.