BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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

          BILL NO:       SB 518
          AUTHOR:        Lowenthal
          AMENDED:       April 22, 2009
          FISCAL COMM:   Yes            HEARING DATE:  April 29, 2009
          URGENCY:       No             CONSULTANT:Kathleen Chavira

           SUBJECT  :  Community College Parking Fees

          This bill prohibits community college districts from using  
          state funds to directly or indirectly subsidize the  
          construction or operation of parking for students,  
          employees, or other persons on or after January 1, 2011,  
          and  authorizes  , rather than  requires  , districts to exempt  
          students who receive financial assistance, as specified, or  
          students who regularly commute with two or more passengers,  
          from fees in excess of specified amounts.   


          Current law authorizes a community college district to  
          require students and employees to pay a maximum fee for  
          parking services of forty dollars ($40) per semester and  
          twenty dollars ($20) per intersession, not to exceed the  
          actual cost of providing parking services (which includes  
          purchase, construction, operation and maintenance of  
          parking facilities). Current law authorizes parking fees in  
          excess of these limits to fund the construction of  
          on-campus parking facilities if specified conditions exist  
          at the campus.  

          To encourage ridesharing and carpooling, parking fees are  
          capped at thirty dollars ($30) per semester and ten dollars  
          ($10) per intersession if a student certifies he/she  
          regularly commutes with two or more passengers to the  
          college. Students who receive financial assistance pursuant  
          to specified programs are exempt from parking fees above  
          twenty dollars ($20) per semester. 

          Community college districts may require fees for the use of  


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          parking services by persons other than students and  

           This bill  :

          1)   Eliminates the statutory caps on the parking fees that  
               a community college district may require of students  
               and employees. 
          2)   Prohibits a community college district from using  
               state funds, directly or indirectly, to subsidize the  
               construction or operation of parking for students,  
               employees, or other persons on or after January 1,  

          3)   Clarifies that construction and operations of parking  
               are not subsidized if the fees cover land and  
               construction costs within no less than 15 years and  
               operation and maintenance costs on an annual basis.

          4)   Authorizes, rather than requires, a community college  
               district to establish maximum parking fees for certain  
               students.  Specifically, the district has the  
               discretion to:

                    a)             Exempt students who receive  
                    financial assistance under specified programs  
                    from parking fees in excess of $20 per semester.

                    b)             Exempt students who regularly  
                    commute with two or more passengers from parking  
                    fees in excess of $30 per semester, and $10 per  

          5)   Generally prohibits the use of state funds to  
               subsidize parking after January 1, 2011.

          6)   Creates mandates and incentives for local governments  
               to adopt parking reforms.  

          7)   Exempts rural counties and any city or county that  
               participates in specified regional efforts to  
               implement parking reforms from the bill's provisions.

           STAFF COMMENTS  


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           1)   Double-referred bill  . This bill was previously heard  
               and passed by a vote of 6-4 in the Senate  
               Transportation and Housing Committee.  Although the  
               bill's provisions affect various state agencies and  
               local government entities, for purposes of this  
               Committee, the analysis focuses upon the provisions  
               affecting the California Community Colleges. 

           2)   Intent of the bill  .  According to the author, "free"  
               parking has significant social, economic, and  
               environmental costs.  This bill seeks to facilitate  
               economic development, reduce traffic congestion and  
               greenhouse gas emissions and save scarce public  
               resources by reducing governmental or  
               government-required subsidies for parking. 

           3)   UC and CSU  .  According the UC, their campuses do not  
               subsidize parking for their students or faculty.   
               Parking fees at the UC campuses range from $189 per  
               quarter at UCLA to annual fees of $578 for students  
               and $792 for faculty/staff/grad students at UC Santa  
               Cruz.  At the CSU, unsubsidized parking fees range  
               from $68 per semester at CSU Fresno to $248 per  
               semester for students at CSU San Marcos.
           4)   CCC student population  .  Unlike the UC and some CSU  
               campuses, community colleges do not generally provide  
               campus housing options.  CCC students are generally  
               older than UC students, typically work, and may take  
               courses at more than one campus within a district.   
               Many CCC students are employed and require child-care  
               in order to attend classes.  Several campuses are  
               located in rural or remote areas with no access to  
               public transportation systems.  Would increased  
               parking fees encourage these students to use public  
               transit or simply increase their costs and make it  
               even more difficult for them to pursue postsecondary  
               educational opportunities?  While it is unclear  
               whether/how much parking fees would increase, a  
               cursory review of unsubsidized UC and CSU parking fees  
               indicates that semester parking costs could  
               potentially exceed the $240 fee ($20/unit for 12  
               units) currently paid by students to enroll in CCC  
               classes full time.   

           5)   Why are CCC treated differently than other locally  


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               governed entities  ?  This bill generally prohibits the  
               use of state funds to subsidize parking.  It also  
               provides a number of options for local government  
               entities to comply with its requirements, presumably,  
               in recognition of the need to allow the local  
               governing bodies to determine the best way to comply  
               while meeting the needs of their local constituencies.  
                This bill does not provide the same discretion for  
               community college governing boards. Shouldn't a  
               locally elected governing board also be allowed to  
               determine how to best meet state goals for emissions  
               reductions while still meeting the needs of its  
               students and faculty? 
          6)   Other strategies . Current law authorizes community  
               college districts to impose a transit fee with student  
               and/or voter approval.  Current law also provides  
               additional flexibility to three districts to  
               authorize, rather than require exemptions from this  
               fee for low-income students and to require minimum  
               enrollment in order to be eligible for the discounted  
               permit. These recently enacted provisions attempt to  
               encourage and facilitate the ability of three local  
               districts to locally negotiate subsidized public  
               transit options for students and faculty.  Rather than  
               restrict parking, the author may want to consider  
               extending such flexibility to all community college  
               districts.   Staff recommends the bill be amended to  
               delete the parking provisions affecting community  
               colleges from the bill and to instead, modify existing  
               law to facilitate all CCC districts' ability to enter  
               into agreements with local public transit entities.  


          None received. 


           California Community College League
          Riverside Community College District