Sacramento Scene: Change on the Horizon

By: Matt Patton, CATA Executive Director

May is an active time in the state’s Capitol. The “May Revise,” a modified proposed budget composed using current revenues, was released by the Governor on May 14th. Legislative subcommittees have approximately two weeks to consider the proposed changes to the budget and negotiate its contents. Additionally, the movement of bills increases in the legislature as the June deadline for passage looms closer. 

These are intriguing times around the Capitol. The focus has moved away from the pandemic and is now focused on the volatile economy. In addition, a large group of legislators is readying to leave the building as they have termed out or are not seeking re-election. The June 7th Special General Elections and Primaries are on the horizon. Additionally, campaigning for the November 8th General Election is heating up.

Below is a list of bills tracked by CATA that relate directly to agricultural and career technical education. As these bills move, CATA supports those beneficial to the profession and opposes those that are detrimental. These actions of support and opposition take the form of meeting with legislative members and staff, written and oral testimonies at hearings, and working with other like-minded advocates toward a shared outcome.

Current Bills of Interest

AB 2044 (O’Donnell) – An act to amend the Education Code relating to career technical education classes and graduation requirements. Currently, the statute in the Education Code allows high school students to use Career Technical Education (CTE) courses to meet graduation requirements. Passage of this bill would extend this statute for another five years.  

AB 2058 (O’Donnell) – Career Technical Education Incentive Grant (CTEIG) Programs and Strong Work Force Program consolidation. This bill would consolidate Strong Work Force Program funding if passed, 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. This bill would appropriate $500,000 in a competitive grant program to startup 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. 

SB 871 (Pan) – Public Health: Immunizations. This bill, if enacted, would add COVID-19 vaccinations to the list of required immunizations needed to attend public or private elementary or secondary schools. The author has put this bill on hold. This hold shelves the bill, and it will no longer progress through the legislative process.

Other Governmental ActionsCOVID-19 Vaccine requirements for California Schools has been postponed – The California Public Health department announced that COVID-19 vaccines will not be required for students during the 2022-2023 school year.  This action has been postponed to be revisited for 2024.

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