During the driest calendar year on record, Gov. Brown declared a statewide drought emergency, which spurred a concerted push for a new water bond.

Lawmakers moved to replace an $11.1 billion ballot proposition previously slated for the ballot, convinced that voters would reject it. A smaller $7.5 billion water bond will appear on the November ballot as Proposition 1. CFT endorsed the measure, which allots $2.7 billion for water storage projects, $900 million for groundwater cleanup and monitoring, $725 million for water recycling and $1.5 billion for watershed restoration programs.

The governor also signed into law AB1522, (Gonzalez, D-San Diego) granting sick days to many California workers who did not have them previously, a major win for most of labor. Though most CFT members will not be affected, the new law may benefit long-term substitute teachers who are not represented under a collective bargaining agreement with sick leave provisions.

EC/K-12 schools Gov. Brown signed a bill into law on June 25 that makes changes to the teacher dismissal appeals process related to “egregious acts,” including offenses related to child abuse, sexual abuse and certain controlled substance crimes.

After careful consideration, CFT took a support position on AB215 (Buchanan, D-Alamo). The new law clearly defines egregious acts and bifurcates the teacher dismissal process so that in egregious misconduct cases, the hearing must commence within 60 days of the request, and continuances may only extend the date for an additional 30 days total. For non-egregious cases, the hearing must begin within six months from the date of the request and may only be extended upon showing of extraordinary circumstances.

CFT’s priority bill, AB1955, also called Healthy Kids, Healthy Minds, and aimed to put a school nurse, mental health professional, and librarian in each school, was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Classified employees Earlier this year, CFT fought to extend staff greater access to unemployment benefits under AB1638 (Bocanegra, D-Los Angeles). The bill was held in Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

The governor did sign SB1405, requiring schools that use pesticides to designate someone to maintain a complete record of all pesticide use at the site and submit it to the Department of Pesticide Regulation at the end of each calendar year. The designee must also develop a long-term plan to prevent pest problems with minimal hazard to people and the environment, and post it on the school website. Read the full story 

CFT opposed a bill now signed into law that affects both classified and certificated employees. SB1266 (Huff, R-Diamond Bar) requires school districts, county offices of education and charter schools to provide emergency epinephrine auto-injectors to school nurses or other personnel who have volunteered, and these persons may provide emergency medical aid to persons suffering, or reasonably believed to be suffering, from an anaphylactic reaction.
—By CFT Legislative Staff