Sacramento Scene: Significant Months Ahead

By: Matt Patton, CATA Executive Director

Term limits, redistricting, and numerous political opportunities outside the state capitol have prompted the exit, or planned exit, of a decade-high number of legislators this year. 26 assembly members and state senators have opted not to run in November or have already left their offices. Added to that number are seven senate members that will term out in 2022.

Currently, four vacant assembly seats will be filled with a specialized April Election, and Assemblymember Fong of Los Angeles was elected on February 15 in a similar special election. 

Among these lawmakers exiting the capitol are many friends of agricultural education. Assemblymember O’Donnell, Education Chair and champion of Career Technical Education (CTE), has plans to return to the classroom to teach Civics. Former Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes of Rancho Mirage may run for Congress. Andreas Borgeas, a Republican from Fresno, and Jordan Cunningham of San Luis Obispo will not seek another term. Adam Gray, the Assemblymember from Merced, is running for Congress, and Jim Cooper from Elk Grove is running for Sacramento Sheriff. Assemblymember Frank Bigelow from Madera is also not seeking reelection. Those are just a few of our friends that have or will leave the state capitol. After the November election of the 120 legislators in California, 33 will be new.

Several of the lawmakers mentioned above are trying to finalize their legislative priorities before exiting the capitol. Some of the bills below are authored by departing lawmakers pushing final agendas. All the below bills that will have impacts on agricultural and CTE education are being tracked by CATA.

AB 2058 (O’Donnell)  – Career Technical Education Incentive Grant (CTEIG) Programs and Strong Work Force Program Consolidation. If passed this bill would consolidate Strong Work Force Program funding, making the CTEIG allocation $450 million annually. Funding would be available in the 2022-23 fiscal year. 

AB 2617 (Holden) – Dual Enrollment Programs: Competitive Grant. If enacted, this bill would appropriate $500,000 in a competitive grant program to start-up middle college or early college high schools that promote dual enrollment. 

AB 2088 (Copper) – Career technical education: California Pilot Paid Internship Program. This program would establish the California Pilot Paid Internship Program, which allocates $575 million to the California Department of Education, to provide grants that establish or expand public-private paid internship programs for students. 

May and June are significant months in the legislative process. The revised budget will be released in May. This document, known as the “May Revise,” will incorporate up-to-date state revenue tax information. This revised budget will be scrutinized by the legislature, and negotiations will ensue. The 2022-23 California State Budget will ultimately be voted on by both the assembly and senate.

The legislative cycle for bills concludes in June. All bills that pass the assembly and senate will be sent to the governor’s desk for approval. There will be a clear picture of what things will look like for the upcoming year by this year’s CATA Summer Conference.

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