BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                    AB 2434

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          Date of Hearing:  April 27, 2016


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair

          2434 (Bonta) - As Amended March 31, 2016

          |Policy       |Higher Education               |Vote:|9 - 2        |
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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          This bill establishes a Blue Ribbon Commission on Public  
          Postsecondary Education. Specifically, this bill:  

          1)Establishes a nine-member commission to make recommendations  
            on improving access and affordability in postsecondary  
            education in California. The commissioners will serve without  
            compensation, but will be reimbursed for necessary expenses.


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          2)Creates, until June 30, 2018, the Office of the Blue Ribbon  
            Commission on Public Postsecondary Education, under an  
            executive director, to implement the duties and directives of  
            the commission.

          3)Requires the commission to conduct at least 10 public hearing  
            throughout the state, review relevant reports, perform  
            analysis, and provide written recommendations by March 31,  
            2018 to the Legislature, the Governor, and the governing  
            boards of the public postsecondary segments regarding eight  
            enumerated aspects of the state's public postsecondary  
            education system.

          FISCAL EFFECT:

          One-time General Fund costs in the range of $1 million over 18  
          months for staff at the Office and Commission expenses for  
          public meetings throughout the state. Potential additional costs  
          of up to several hundred thousand dollars for the University of  
          California, the California State University, the California  
          Community Colleges, and the California Student Aid Commission to  
          participate in Commission meetings and respond to data requests  
          from the Office. 


          1)Background. AB 770 (Vasconcellos) of 1973 created the  
            California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) and made  
            it responsible for the planning and coordination of  
            postsecondary education. CPEC was charged with providing  
            analysis, advice, and recommendations to the Legislature and  
            the governor on statewide policy and funding priorities. As  


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            part of his 2011-12 budget, Governor Brown proposed  
            eliminating CPEC. Both houses rejected this proposal, but the  
            governor exercised his line item veto to remove all General  
            Fund support for CPEC, describing the commission as  
            "ineffective." In his veto message, however, the governor  
            acknowledged the need for coordinating and guiding state  
            higher education policy and requested that stakeholders  
            explore alternative ways these functions could be fulfilled.  
            On November 18, 2011, CPEC closed its office and ceased  

            In a January 2013 report, "Improving Higher Education  
            Oversight," the LAO contended that the state needed higher  
            education oversight that enables policymakers and others to  
            monitor how efficiently and effectively the postsecondary  
            system is serving the state's needs, and to make changes to  
            improve its performance.

          2)Purpose. According to the author, "?California's Master Plan  
            for Higher Education is no longer a practical roadmap to guide  
            the state's higher education policy.  The Master Plan was to  
            take the state from 1960-1975.  California's higher education  
            challenges in 1960 are very different from today's." 

            The author contends that absent a coordinating body, the state  
            still needs a statewide plan for higher education.  The author  
            argues that, "The state's approach to higher education must  
            become more accessible, equitable, and affordable."

          3)Related Legislation. AB 1837 (Low), pending in this committee,  
            creates the Office of Higher Education Performance and  
            Accountability as the statewide postsecondary education  
            coordination and planning agency, to be within the Governor's  

          4)Prior Legislation. SB 42 (Liu, 2015) which was similar to AB  


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            1837, was vetoed, Governor Brown stated, "While there is much  
            work to be done to improve higher education, I am not  
            convinced we need a new office and an advisory board,  
            especially of the kind this bill proposed, to get the job  

            SB 1196 (Liu, 2014), which would have established a process  
            for setting specific educational attainment goals for the  
            State, was held on this committee's Suspense file.

            AB 1348 (John A. Pérez, 2014), which would have established  
            the California Higher Education Authority, its governing board  
            and its responsibilities, as specified, phased-in over a  
            three-year period, was held on Suspense in Senate  

            AB 2190 (John A. Pérez, 2012), which would have established a  
            new state oversight and coordinating body for higher  
            education, was held on this committee's Suspense file.

          Analysis Prepared by:Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916)