BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 1653 (Weber) - Postsecondary education:  campus climate
          
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          |Version: June 28, 2016          |Policy Vote: ED. 9 - 0          |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: Yes                    |
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          |Hearing Date: August 1, 2016    |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.




          


          Bill  
          Summary:  This bill requires the California Community Colleges  
          (CCC) Board of Governors (BOG), the California State University  
          (CSU) Trustees, the governing body of each private postsecondary  
          educational institution in the state and encourages each  
          University of California (UC) campus, to generate a report every  
          two years, as specified, pertaining campus climate.  This bill  
          also requires the CSU Trustees and community college district  
          governing boards, and requests the UC Regents, to adopt and  
          publish policies on harassment, intimidation, and bullying, as  
          specified.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  







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           The CCC indicates that costs related to reporting are  
            anticipated to be minor.  Additional costs would be incurred  
            of up to $216,000 system wide to adopt and publish policies on  
            harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  These costs could be  
            interpreted by the Commission on State Mandates to impose a  
            reimbursable state mandate.  See staff comments.  (Proposition  
            98)

           One-time cost pressure to UC of up to $100,000 update the  
            campus climate reporting portal to collect data and allow for  
            data analysis to the extent they choose to comply with the  
            requirements of the bill.  In addition, every two years the UC  
            would incur costs of $420,000 system wide related to  
            collecting and analyzing data to generate a campus climate  
            report.  (General Fund)

           CSU anticipates costs to implement this bill would be minor.


          Background:  Existing law provides that it is the state's policy to afford  
          all persons, regardless of disability, gender, gender identity,  
          gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion,  
          sexual orientation, or any other basis that is contained in the  
          prohibition of hate crimes, as specified, equal rights and  
          opportunities in the postsecondary institutions of the state.   
          (Education Code  66251) 
          Existing law also declares that, consistent with specified  
          federal law provisions, all students have the right to  
          participate fully in the educational process, free from  
          discrimination and harassment.  In addition, it declares that  
          the state's postsecondary educational institutions have an  
          affirmative obligation to combat racism, sexism, and other forms  
          of bias, and a responsibility to provide equal educational  
          opportunity.  It declares the Legislature's intent that each  
          postsecondary educational institution undertake educational  
          activities to counter discriminatory incidents on school grounds  
          and, within constitutional bounds, to minimize and eliminate a  
          hostile environment on school grounds that impair access to  
          equal educational opportunities.  (EC  66252) 


          Existing law requires under the federal Title IX and the Jeanne  
          Clery Act (Clery Act), colleges and universities, as a condition  
          of federal student aid program participation, to publish annual  








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          campus security reports, maintain crime logs, provide timely  
          warnings of crimes that present a public safety risk, maintain  
          ongoing crime statistics, establish certain rights for victims  
          of sexual assault, and include certain security policies.  The  
          Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act amended the Clery Act  
          to provide additional rights to campus victims of sexual  
          assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  Part  
          of the changes include expanding the campus crime statistics  
          required to be reported beyond the Clery Act, to include  
          domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, and crimes  
          motivated by gender identity or national origin.


          This bill is reflective of the efforts of the Assembly Select  
          Committee on Campus Climate.  The committee issued a report with  
          its recommendations in October 2014 which included that the UC,  
          CSU, and CCC provide an annual report to the Legislature on  
          recent challenges and developments related to campus climate.   
          This bill implements the 2014 report recommendations and  
          information from two follow-up hearings in 2015 with the intent  
          that there be a certain level of oversight and that the  
          Legislature be kept informed of any major changes at California  
          colleges and universities.  Also, the author indicates that,  
          existing law does not specifically address campus climate and  
          that this measure would be the appropriate next step in creating  
          some type of oversight of campus climate. 




          Proposed Law:  
            This bill requires the CCC Board of Governors, the CSU  
          Trustees, and the governing body of each private postsecondary  
          educational institution in the state, and encourages each UC  
          campus, to each generate and post online a report, as specified,  
          pertaining to campus climate.  This report is required to be  
          submitted to the Governor, Attorney General, and the  
          Legislature.
          The biennial report must include:


           Recent administrative efforts intended to affect campus  
            climate;









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           Recent campus program developments that impact campus climate  
            related to gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion,  
            sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity; and


           Recent administrative efforts to reduce student food  
            insecurity and student homelessness.





          In addition, this bill requires the CCC Board of Governors, CSU  
          Trustees, and the governing body of each independent institution  
          of higher education, and encourages the UC Regents to create,  
          review every two years, and update as necessary, policies  
          regarding compliance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of  
          Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics and the  
          federal Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.  





          This bill defines "campus climate" as a measure of an  
          individual's experience within a learning environment,  
          specifically focusing on the current attitudes, practices,  
          policies, and behaviors of campus life that impact the success  
          and retention of all members of a campus community.  This bill  
          also requires that if the CSU Trustees and the governing board  
          of each community college district expend funds to support  
          campus climate, they are required to adopt and publish policies  
          on harassment, intimidation, and bullying to be included within  
          the rules governing student behavior within their respective  
          segments.  The UC Regents are requested to adopt such policies.   





          Related  
          Legislation:  AB 340 (Weber, 2015) similar to this bill, would  
          have also required the CSU and the CCC, and encouraged the UC to  








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          report on campus climate efforts.  AB 340 was vetoed by the  
          Governor whose veto message indicated that the segments are  
          already taking steps aimed at achieving the goals of the bill  
          and that codifying a biennial report is not necessary.


          Staff  
          Comments:  This bill requires each segment to generate a  
          biennium report on campus climate.  It specifically requires the  
          BOG to only request, not require, information from community  
          college districts, making any information provided to the BOG  
          voluntary and therefore not a reimbursable activity under state  
          mandate law. 
          This bill also requires that if community college districts and  
          the CSU expend funds to support activities related to campus  
          climate, they must adopt and publish policies on harassment,  
          intimidation, and bullying.  Campus climate is defined in the  
          bill as a measure of an individual's experience within a  
          learning environment, specifically focusing on the current  
          attitudes, practices, policies, and behaviors of campus life  
          that impact the success and retention of all members of a campus  
          community.  This broad definition could capture a wide range of  
          activities for which community college districts expend funds  
          which would trigger the requirement to adopt and publish  
          required policies.  If enacted, the requirements included in  
          this bill could be viewed as "activities related to campus  
          climate".  Therefore, it is possible that the Commission on  
          State Mandates could determine this to be a reimbursable state  
          mandate based on practical compulsion - that there is no  
          reasonable alternative but to comply.  At an estimated cost of  
          $2,000 to $3,000 per district to develop required policies,  
          reimbursable state mandated costs could be $144,000 to $216,000  
          statewide.




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