BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1653


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          GOVERNOR'S VETO


          AB  
          1653 (Weber)


          As Enrolled  September 2, 2016


          2/3 vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  |59-17 |(June 2, 2016) |SENATE: |29-10 |(August 22,      |
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |59-16 |(August 25,    |        |      |                 |
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          Original Committee Reference:  HIGHER ED.


          SUMMARY:  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  








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          University of California (UC) campus, to generate a report every  
          two years, as specified, pertaining campus climate.


          The Senate amendments delete the requirement for specified  
          public and private postsecondary educational institutions to  
          adopt and publish policies on harassment, intimidation, and  
          bullying; and, make technical clarifying changes.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Declares it a goal of public higher education that educational  
            equity be achieved through educational environments in which  
            each person, regardless of race, gender, gender identity,  
            gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability or  
            economic circumstances has a reasonable chance to fully  
            develop his or her potential (Education Code (EC) Section  
            66010.2).


          2)Provides that it is the policy of the State of California 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 set forth in Penal  
            Code Section 422.6(a), equal rights and opportunities in the  
            postsecondary institutions of the state (EC Section 66251). 


          3)Provides that all students have the right to participate fully  
            in the educational process, free from discrimination and  
            harassment and that California'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; and declares the  
            Legislature's intent that each postsecondary educational  
            institution undertake educational activities to counter  








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            discriminatory incidents on school grounds and, within  
            constitutional bounds, to minimize and eliminate a hostile  
            environment on school grounds that impairs the access of  
            students to equal educational opportunities (EC Section  
            66252).


          4)Requests the UC Regents, CSU Trustees, and the governing board  
            of each community college district to adopt and publish  
            policies on harassment, intimidation, and bullying to be  
            included within the rules and regulations governing student  
            behavior within their respective segments of public  
            postsecondary education (EC Section 66302).


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee:


          1)Likely minor costs to the CCC and the CSU to implement this  
            bill.  


          2)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 it chooses to comply with the  
            requirements of the bill.  In addition, UC indicates that  
            every two years it would incur costs of $420,000 system wide  
            related to collecting and analyzing data to generate a campus  
            climate report (General Fund).


          COMMENTS:  Background.  Out of concern regarding recent campus  
          climate issues at various campuses of higher education, in the  
          past few years there have been several oversight hearings  
          convened by this Committee to look at campus climate issues.   
          Additionally, in the 2013-14 Legislative Session, the Speaker of  
          the Assembly created the Assembly Select Committee on Campus  
          Climate; which convened several hearings in 2014 and 2015, with  








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          the goal of continuing to strengthen overall campus climate for  
          our postsecondary institutions of higher learning.  The Select  
          Committee issued a report in October of 2014.  Additionally,  
          released in July of 2015, Report 2015-032 by the State Auditor  
          recommended that the Legislature should require the Department  
          of Justice (DOJ) to provide guidance regarding compliance with  
          the requirements of the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women  
          Act (VAWA) Reauthorization of 2013.


          This measure is the result of recommendations from the two  
          aforementioned reports.


          Public postsecondary institutions of higher learning response to  
          campus climate.  The UC seeks to create and nurture an  
          atmosphere of respect and inclusion for all; in March 2014 the  
          UC (after a two-year systemwide survey), released its campus  
          climate study.  The study found many things, including, but not  
          limited to the following:  1) 79% of all respondents were  
          comfortable or very comfortable with the campus climate at UC,  
          while 7% were uncomfortable or very uncomfortable; 2) more than  
          half of all respondents thought that the overall campus climate  
          was very respectful or respectful of various races/ethnicities  
          at UC; and, 3) more work must be done to address issues faced by  
          certain groups - underrepresented minority respondents were less  
          comfortable with the overall climate and workplace climate than  
          were white respondents and other people of color and transgender  
          respondents were less comfortable with the overall climate at  
          their campus than were men and women respondents.


          To note:  1) many UC campuses have hired staff focused on campus  
          climate issues; 2) many programs are offered to reduce the  
          impact of unconscious bias in hiring and promotions, and to  
          identify and remove institutional barriers to inclusion an  
          career development; 3) resource and student service centers have  
          been established at many campuses for certain populations (such  
          as undocumented students, veteran students, and LGBT (Lesbian,  








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          Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) students); 4) anti-hate  
          initiatives exist at many UC campuses that seek to educate  
          students; and, 5) many UC campuses have student-led and cultural  
          activities.


          The CSU is committed to maintaining an inclusive community that  
          values diversity and fosters tolerance and mutual respect.  It  
          is CSU policy to provide equal opportunity for all persons  
          regardless of race, religious creed, color, national origin,  
          ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical  
          condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender,  
          gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, and  
          veteran status.  


          The CSU has policies in place to help ensure that their students  
          and faculty are protected; campuses must implement preventative  
          education programs and make available victim resources,  
          including comprehensive victim services.  Information regarding  
          these programs must be included in:  1) orientation programs for  
          new students, faculty and staff; 2) training for students who  
          serve as advisors in residence halls; and, 3) training for  
          student athletes and coaches.  


          Additionally, on a campus by campus basis, the CSU has created  
          an advisory body of non-CSU experts to advise and opine to the  
          CSU how to strengthen and enforce existing polices, as well as  
          advise if there is a need to create more policies that will  
          allow the CSU to maintain its policy of protection for all.


          Purpose of this measure.  According to the author, "With the  
          lack of involvement, and funding of the California Postsecondary  
          Education Commission, coordination between segments of higher  
          education has diminished."  The author contends that each campus  
          handles campus climate in different methods; some campuses have  
          successful programs that other campuses may want to replicate on  








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          their respective campus.


          The author states, "By requiring a report on recent developments  
          on campus climate, California's higher education institutions  
          would keep key policymakers informed about new and ongoing  
          endeavors and developments in regards to campus climate.  This  
          bill would also allow the general public (students, community  
          organizations, staff, and faculty) to have additional  
          information to help navigate and find information as well as  
          resources to succeed in higher education."


          Previous and related legislation.  AB 1654 (Santiago), Chapter  
          222, Statutes of 2016, would, among others, task the DOJ to  
          provide guidance to colleges on the Clery Act.


          AB 340 (Weber) of 2015, which was vetoed by the Governor, was  
          similar in nature to the provisions contained in this measure.


          GOVERNOR'S VETO MESSAGE:


          I am returning Assembly Bill 1653 without my signature.


          The bill requires public and independent postsecondary governing  
          boards to generate a report on campus climate and update  
          policies related to compliance with the federal Clery Act every  
          two years.


          I vetoed AB 340 last year, which is virtually identical to this  
          bill.


          My views have not changed.








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          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Jeanice Warden / HIGHER ED. / (916) 319-3960   
          FN: 0005093