Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Bill limiting out-of-state UC admissions and financial aid has first hearing

The University of California, Los Angeles, campus on Sept. 8, 2014.
The University of California, Los Angeles, campus on Sept. 8, 2014. The New York Times

California high school students have been battling out-of-staters for undergraduate spots on UC campuses, and now some legislators are seeking to limit financial aid and admission slots for non-residents.

In the last few years, budget cuts caused by the recession led UC to recruit more nonresident applicants to get revenue from out-of-state fees. Legislators pushed back, saying the strategy limited access for their constituents.

The UC system also came under fire recently after an Assembly budget subcommittee discovered that $32 million had been spent on financial aid for nonresident students.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 4, proposed by Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Garden Grove, would cap at 10 percent the amount of out-of-state undergraduates in incoming classes and total undergrad enrollment at each of the ten campuses. Also, the amendment would prohibit UC from giving state-funded financial aid to out-of-state undergraduate students.

The Education committee is set to hear SCA 4 at 9 a.m. in room 4203.

WEED WEDNESDAY: Two Assembly bills on medical marijuana will be heard in the Senate today.

The Senate Environmental Quality committee will hear Assembly Bill 243, by Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg., which would establish the Division of Medical Cannabis Cultivation in the Department of Food and Agriculture. The bill would allow cities and counties to authorize or deny permits for medical marijuana cultivation. After June 1, 2016, a $50-per-plant tax would be imposed on licensed marijuana cultivators.

The Senate Governance and Finance committee, meanwhile, will hear Assembly Bill 266 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda. It would create a long-sought state regulatory scheme for medical marijuana.

Both hearings start at 9:30 – AB 243 in room 3191 and AB 266 in room 112.

TOXIC TENSIONS: Today the Senate Rules Committee will consider the confirmation of Barbara Lee, director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. Environmentalists have criticized the agency for decisions they say prioritize industry protection over public protection from toxic threats.

Liza Tucker, an advocate with Consumer Watchdog, will argue against Lee’s confirmation.

The hearing is at 1:30 p.m. in room 113.

BLACK BUSINESSES: After dramatically expanding its membership last year, the California Legislative Black Caucus is setting out to achieve its goal of growing black-owned businesses.

A joint informational hearing with the caucus and two Assembly committees – Business and Professions and Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy – will discuss the opportunities and obstacles black business owners face in California. Questions on the table include how many black-owned businesses there are in the state, whether there has been a decline or increase over time and what policymakers can do to help the businesses thrive.

Speakers include Larry Lee, president of the The Sacramento Observer, and Aubry Stone, president and CEO of the California Black Chamber of Commerce.

The hearing is at 3 p.m. in room 437.

Catherine Douglas Moran: 916-321-1202