BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2302


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          Date of Hearing:  April 19, 2016


                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION


                                 Jose Medina, Chair


          AB 2302  
          (Harper) - As Introduced February 18, 2016


          SUBJECT:  University of California:  labor institute.


          SUMMARY:  Urges the University of California (UC) Regents to  
          refrain from forming a labor institute at UC Irvine.  


          EXISTING LAW:  Provides that the UC shall constitute a public  
          trust, to be administered by the existing corporation known as  
          UC Regents, with full powers of organization and government,  
          subject only to such legislative control as may be necessary, as  
          specified (California Constitution  Article IX, Section 9).


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown.  This bill is keyed non-fiscal by the  
          Legislative Counsel.


          COMMENTS:  Background.  The UC Institute for Labor and  
          Employment (ILE) was a multi-campus research program devoted to  
          studying, and finding solutions for, problems of labor and  
          employment in the state and nation.  The ILE expanded upon the  
          existing Institutes of Industrial Relations (IIRs) at UC  
          Berkeley and UCLA, which were founded in 1945, and upon the two  
          Centers for Labor Research and Education (CLREs) housed in the  
          IIRs on the campuses of UC Berkeley and UCLA.  From 2000-2003  








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          the ILE supported a wide range of research, teaching, and  
          community service activities.


          The ILE was restructured in 2004 in order to reduce costs and  
          improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its research  
          initiatives.  The UC systemwide grants and research program,  
          formerly administered by ILE has been replaced by a Labor and  
          Employment Research Fund, which is administered by the Office of  
          Research within the UC Office of the President.  The Fund is  
          overseen by a faculty steering committee comprised of faculty  
          from all 10 UC campuses.  An advisory board to the two IIR  
          directors provides input on priority research areas.  The  
          advisory board is comprised of a faculty member from each of six  
          UC campuses, the two CLRE directors, and two members of the  
          labor community.  Final decisions regarding research funding are  
          made by the faculty steering committee of the Fund.


          The UC Berkeley Institute of Industrial Relations and the UCLA  
          Institute of Industrial Relations continue to conduct and fund  
          research, teaching, and service activities on issues of  
          importance to working people, employers, and the state.


          Need for this measure.  According to the author, "In 2016, the  
          University of California will receive millions of dollars in  
          additional funding to create a new labor institute at UC  
          Irvine." The author argues that, "while legitimate think tanks  
          do not engage in partisan politics, unions have every right to  
          do so, of course, and may even call their institute a think  
          tank.  But the unions themselves, not California taxpayers,  
          should pay the bills."


          Creation of a third institute?  The author contends that the UC  
          will create a third UC IIR, but according to the UC Office of  
          the President, there is no pending plan to be presented to the  
          Regents, who are the sole authority in the approval of  








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          additional IIRs, for the funding or creation of an IIR at UC  
          Irvine, or any other UC campus.


          Alternative approach.  It is unclear why this measure is  
          necessary.  If the author is concerned that the reports that  
          have been produced by the existing UC IIRs have not been  
          researched and written without bias, the author may wish to  
          consider not pursuing this measure, and instead, work with the  
          existing UC IIRs in determining various approaches to conducting  
          their research and writing their reports.


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          Associated Builders and Contractors of California


          Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association


          Western Electrical Contractors Association




          Opposition


          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,  
          AFL-CIO










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          Analysis Prepared by:Jeanice Warden / HIGHER ED. / (916)  
          319-3960