Wednesday, July 8, 2009

SB 218 & AB 656 Both Pass Their Commitees

From CFA's headlines:

The Assembly Higher Education Committee approved two CFA-sponsored bills Tuesday.

The committee vote on SB 218 (Yee) ­ which would apply the California Public Records Act to CSU auxiliaries ­ was 8-0 with Vice Chair Connie Conway not voting. She indicated after the hearing that she will support the bill on the Assembly floor. She was just very late to committee and didn't vote. CFA received a unanimous vote despite the CSU using its internal and contractlobbyists to oppose this measure.

AB 656 (Torrico) ­ the oil and natural gas severance tax for public higher education ­ was also taken up by the committee for a vote only. The bill was given a full hearing on June 24 where more than 100 CFA supporters from around the state appeared in the committee to back the bill. While the CSU administration did not support the bill and "big oil" openly opposed the measure, it was passed by the committee 5-3 with Chairman Anthony Portantino, Fiona Ma, Ira Ruskin, Paul Fong and CFA member Marty Block voting with CFA.

Both bills now move on in the Assembly with AB 656 slated to be heard in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee later this summer, while SB 218 will be heard in the Assembly Governmental Organization.