California Educator

December / January 2017

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Page 46 of 75

Legislative Update Bills Signed Into Law Fiona Ma for State Treasurer Current Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma is the only declared and viable candidate for the office of state treasurer. She is a lifelong champion for public edu- cation and has experience on financial, budget and investment issues that make her highly qualified for this position. She supports a defined-benefit retirement system for all educators, and as state treasurer will sit on both the CalSTRS and CalPERS boards. CTA's Recommendation Process C T A I N T E R V I E W T E A M S , compris- ing 30 CTA leaders and members from throughout the state, interview candidates and evaluate them on a variety of criteria, including: 1. Their position on and vision for K-12, community college and higher education issues. 2. Their historical support for public education, students and educa- tors, including education funding, budget stability, safe schools and campuses for all students, collective bargaining, educa- tor professional rights, charter school accountability, and equal access to higher education. 3. Their viability for success in the office that they are seeking. After the inter views , teams make their recommendations , and the C TA Board approve s to send for th to State Counc il (800 dele gate s), who then debate and make f inal recommendations . AB 1360: Ending Student Discrimination CTA-co-sponsored AB 1360, by Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), prohibits discriminatory admissions practices and allows due process in student discipline proceedings at charter schools. "Educators applaud this major step toward ending discriminatory admissions practices and unfair suspension and expulsion policies in California's charter schools," says CTA President Eric Heins. " This legis- lation was truly a community effort to protect students with disabilities, English learners, low-income children and students of color from being denied access to charters." SB 285: Union Strong SB 285, by Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), makes it harder for public agencies to discourage their workers from belonging to unions. Prior to this new law, public employers were barred from using state funds to assist, promote or deter union organizing. SB 285 strengthens the law by making it clear that not only do public employees have the right to form a union or engage in union activities without interference, they also have the right to become members or remain members of a union without intimida- tion or coercion. AB 20: Review of Dakota Access Pipeline Investment AB 20, by Assembly Member Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), requires the state's two largest pension systems to submit a report on investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline. It also requires the boards of administration of CalSTRS and CalPERS to review and consider factors related to tribal sovereignty and indigenous tribal rights as part of the boards' investment policies related to environmental, social and governance issues. The law highlights a core debate over how large institutional inves- tors like CalSTRS and CalPERS can influence companies to be better social actors. Kalra says AB 20 "speaks to our shared goals of decreasing dependence on fossil fuels and respecting the sovereign rights of Native American Tribes and indigenous communities." SB 54: Sanctuary State Under Aack Signatures are being gathered to try to overturn California's new "sanctu- ary state" law by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). CTA-co-sponsored SB 54, which was signed into law in October and is set to begin Jan. 1, 2018, ensures that no state or local resources are diverted to help the federal government carry out mass deportations, and that schools, hospitals and courthouses are safe spaces for everyone in our communities. But a referendum on SB 54 was cleared in late October to gather signa- tures. Proponents must collect at least 365,880 signatures from registered voters by Jan. 3. The referendum would then qualify for the November 2018 ballot, where voters will be asked whether to uphold SB 54. If that is the case, the new law would be placed on hold pending the outcome of the vote. 45 D E C E M B E R 2 017 / J A N U A R Y 2 018 A

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