Thursday, September 10, 2009

SB 218 Heads to Governor's Desk

From the California Faculty Association (CFA) via CFA Headlines:


CFA-sponsored legislation that would make the controversial spending and financial practices of California State University subsidiary organizations and foundations more transparent will arrive on the governor’s desk in the coming days.

Senate Bill (SB) 218 — which is authored by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) — received overwhelming support in the Assembly, passing by a margin of 76-0.

The bill received final approval from the legislature Monday after the Senate concurred with the amended version of the bill 33-1.

Supporters of SB 218, including the CFA and the California Newspaper Publishers Association, are counting on the Governor — who recently launched a web site dedicated to reporting transparency in government — to stand by his words by signing this transparency bill into law.

In light of the Governor's public commitment to transparency, we hope he will back up his words with action by signing SB 218 into law, said CFA President Lillian Taiz.

Taiz continued, The lack of transparency and accountability around these auxiliaries and foundations has led to scandals and waste of taxpayer dollars that were intended to improve the quality of education in the classroom for California's students.

The California Chronicle article lists several foundation/auxiliary scandals, ending with:

The latest example, as reported in the online community publication The Sacramento Press and verified by CSU Sacramento documents, indicates that University Enterprises, Inc., an auxiliary at Sacramento State, purchased a commercial building in 2007 just as the economy began to head towards a recession. The building has only one tenant, which prompted Sacramento State University and the CSU Chancellor's office to give $6.3 million from their general fund to offset the lost revenues from a lack of tenants. These funding commitments were made at the same time the CSU has been forced to cap student enrollment, raise student fees, and impose harmful furloughs on faculty and staff. Additionally, while arguing in opposition to SB 218, the CSU has made repeated claims that campus auxiliary organizations are self-supporting and do not rely on general fund dollars for support.

CSUEU does not appear to have taken a position on this legislation; at least, there is nothing about it on the CSUEU Legislative Committee's web site or Twitter feed, and a search on the CSUEU web site turned up no references to SB 218.


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