BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                AB 684
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        AB 684 (Block)
        As Amended  August 23, 2011
        2/3 vote.  Urgency
        |ASSEMBLY:  |72-3 |(May 19, 2011)  |SENATE: |34-3 |(August 30,    |
        |           |     |                |        |     |2011)          |
         Original Committee Reference:    E. & R.

        SUMMARY  :  Establishes a procedure for the governing board of a 
        community college district (CCD) to change election systems, 
        including moving from at-large elections to elections by trustee 
        area, without voter approval.  Requires members of the governing 
        board of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD) 
        to be elected by trustee area.  Specifically,  this bill  :

        1)Permits a CCD, in accordance with the California Voting Rights Act 
          (CVRA), and upon adoption by the governing board of a resolution 
          in support and the approval of the Board of Governors (BOG) of the 
          California Community Colleges, to change elections systems as 

           a)   Permits a CCD to change from electing board members at-large 
             to electing members by trustee-areas.  Requires one member to 
             be elected from each trustee area.  Requires the governing 
             board to set the boundaries of each trustee area to reflect 
             substantially equal population in each district;

           b)   Permits a CCD to establish a top-two primary election 
             system, with elections held on the same date as statewide 
             elections; and,

           c)   Permits the governing board of a CCD to divide the territory 
             of the CCD into not fewer than five and not more than nine 
             trustee areas.

        2)Provides that this bill does not apply to a CCD that has been 
          authorized by statute to provide for its own trustee elections.

        3)Requires members of the governing board of the GCCCD to be elected 
          by trustee area.  Requires one member of the GCCCD board to be 
          elected from each trustee area.  Requires that the primary 


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          election be held on the date of the statewide direct primary 
          election, with the two candidates receiving the highest number of 
          votes in each trustee area appearing on the ballot at the general 
          election, to be held on the same date as the statewide general 

        4)Provides that each member of a governing board elected at the 
          GCCCD general election shall hold office for a term of four years. 
           Provides that the members of the GCCCD board in office on the 
          effective date of this bill shall hold office until the first 
          Friday in December in the year in which their respective terms of 
          office would otherwise have terminated.

        5)Requires the territory of the GCCCD to be divided into not fewer 
          than five and not more than nine trustee areas, as determined by 
          the governing board.  Provides that boundaries of trustee areas 
          established by the governing board of the GCCCD or the county 
          committee on school district organization prior to January 1, 
          2012, to reflect the population enumerated in the 2010 census, 
          shall be in effect when this bill becomes operative.  Requires the 
          boundaries of each trustee area to be set so that the population 
          of each area is, as nearly as may be, the same proportion of the 
          total population of the district as each of the other areas.

        6)Contains an urgency clause, allowing this bill to take effect 
          immediately upon enactment.

         The Senate amendments  add the provisions of this bill regarding the 
        election of GCCCD governing board members and add an urgency clause.

         AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill did not contain the provisions 
        regarding the GCCCD governing board.

         FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, 
        potentially significant one-time savings to CCDs by avoiding the 
        need for an election to change election methods and by avoiding 
        potential litigation costs that may be incurred under the CVRA if a 
        CCD's existing election method is challenged.  Although this bill 
        imposes a mandate on the GCCCD to change election methods, any costs 
        to the GCCCD would not be reimbursable because these provisions are 
        being proposed at the request of the GCCCD.

         COMMENTS  :  This bill was amended in the Senate to add the provisions 
        of the May 5, 2011 version of AB 680 (Block), governing the election 
        of governing board members to the GCCCD, which was approved by the 


                                                                AB 684
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        Assembly on a 75-0 vote on May 23, 2011.  This bill, as amended in 
        the Senate, is consistent with earlier Assembly actions on this bill 
        and on AB 680. 

        Under existing law, a CCD board can be organized so that members are 
        elected at-large or by trustee areas.  For any CCD that wishes to 
        move from at-large elections to a trustee area method of election, 
        existing law requires the voters of the CCD to approve the change.  
        If the voters reject the proposed change, the district must continue 
        using an at-large method of election. 

        SB 976 (Polanco), Chapter 129, Statutes of 2002, enacted the CVRA to 
        address racial block voting in at-large elections for local office 
        in California.  Since the enactment of the CVRA, a number of local 
        jurisdictions have converted or are in the process of converting 
        from an at-large method of election to district-based elections.

        Existing law permits the State Board of Education (SBE) to waive all 
        or part of any section of the Education Code, with certain 
        identified exceptions, upon request by the governing board of a 
        school district or county board of education.  Some school districts 
        that have sought to move from at-large elections to district-based 
        elections since the enactment of the CVRA have applied to the SBE 
        for a waiver, and have received such a waiver, from the requirement 
        that the change from at-large to district elections be approved by 
        the voters of the district.  This bill enacts a similar waiver 
        process for CCDs through the BOG, and statutorily requires the GCCCD 
        to convert from an at-large method of election to district-based 

        Please see the policy committee analyses for this bill and for the 
        March 29, 2011 version of AB 680 (Block) for a full discussion of 
        the provisions of this bill.

        Analysis Prepared by  :    Ethan Jones / E. & R. / (916) 319-2094 
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