BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                               Gloria Romero, Chair
                            2009-2010 Regular Session
                                         

          BILL NO:       AB 1891
          AUTHOR:        Committee on Higher Education
          AMENDED:       May 27, 2010
          FISCAL COMM:   Yes            HEARING DATE:  June 16, 2010
          URGENCY:       No             CONSULTANT:Daniel Alvarez

           SUBJECT  :   UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education  
          Program.

           KEY POLICY ISSUE   

          Should the Legislature restore, in statute, the Sustainable  
          Agriculture Research and Education Program that is operated  
          by the University of California?


           SUMMARY   

          This bill restores, in statute, the Sustainable Agriculture  
          Research and Education Program (SAREP) operated by the  
          University of California.  This program was inadvertently  
          deleted from statute in 2009, as part of an overall higher  
          education technical cleanup measure.

           BACKGROUND  

          The California Constitution establishes the University of  
          California (UC) as a public trust administered by the Regents  
          of the University of California (Regents).  The Constitution  
          grants the Regents full powers of organization and  
          government, subject only to such legislative control as may  
          be necessary to insure the security of its funds, compliance  
          with the terms of University endowments, other procedures as  
          specified. (Article IX, Section 9)

           ANALYSIS  

           This bill  requests the UC Regents to establish the SAREP to  
          support competitive grants to promote research and education  
          on sustainable agricultural practices, and to support the  
          giving of instruction and practical demonstrations in  
          agriculture.



                                                                 AB 1891
                                                                  Page 2



          (This program was inadvertently deleted from statute in 2009,  
          as part of an overall higher education technical measure.)

           STAFF COMMENTS  

           1)   Need for the bill  :  Chapter 386, Statutes of 2009 (AB  
               1182, Brownley) primarily streamlined higher education  
               related reporting requirements.  However, late  
               amendments inadvertently deleted the authorization of  
               the SAREP.  Though the SAREP program did not cease to  
               exist when it was deleted in statute, since legislation  
               is not necessary to create programs at the UC (given the  
               university's constitutional autonomy) - however,  
               statutory authorization of SAREP provides assurances to  
               the sustainable agricultural community that UC is  
               committed to this program.  At the request of the UC,  
               the Assembly Committee on Higher Education agreed to  
               support legislation in 2010 to restore the statutory  
               authorization for this UC program.

           2)   Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program  
               (SAREP)  .  SAREP is a statewide program within UC  
               Agriculture and Natural Resources. It was created  
               through the grass roots efforts of organizations and  
               individuals concerned about the environmental impacts of  
               agriculture, the health of rural communities, and the  
               profitability of family farming operations in  
               California. At the request of the California  
               Legislature, the University of California established  
               SAREP with three mandates: administer competitive grants  
               for research on sustainable agricultural practices and  
               systems, develop and distribute information through  
               publications and on-farm demonstrations, and support  
               long-term research and sustainable farming systems on UC  
               farmlands.  SAREP has a national reputation for  
               developing new practices, disseminating this information  
               on agricultural sustainability, and conducting research  
               with growers on public and private land. 

           SUPPORT
           
          The University of California

           OPPOSITION
           
          None received.