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Current Legislative Updates

2005-2006 Legislative Updates

Please contact Chris Kahn if you would like additional information on any of these bills, or on bills not included in this report, (cwkahn@shjlobby.com). You can also reach Chris by phone at 916-446-3007.

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CASP Legislative Reports

-2006 LEGISLATIVE SESSION IS HEATING UP-

Jim Russell and Chris Kahn

 

For the past few months, the 2006 Legislative session has focused on the Governorís strategic growth plan which includes over $20 billion in school construction and modernizations bond funds.† The plan would expand capacity for 250,000 more students and will modernize classrooms with cutting edge equipment, retrofit buildings to meet current safety standards, and build new ones to make room for the growing number of students.† The Governorís plan also includes bond funds for transportation projects, water and levy repair and maintenance, and county jail and courthouse construction.† The education bond has been the least controversial of the Governorís infrastructure proposals but despite the efforts of many, the bonds will not be on the June 2006 ballot.† The negotiations now shift to putting an infrastructure bond package on the November 2006 ballot.†

 

We are now turning our full attention to the thousands of bills beginning to move through the legislative process and the 2006 budget.† We are still going through the introduced bills.† The following are examples of the many bills CASP will be involved with this year:†

 

AB 2003 (Yee):† Establishes a comprehensive, multifaceted, and cohesive learning support system integrated in a seamless fashion with the schoolís instructional program.† CASP is a strong supporter of this effort.†

SB 1356 (Lowenthal):†† Also supported by CASP, this bill would establish the California Suicide Prevention Act of 2006.
 
AB 2513 (Pavley): Another CASP supported effort, would establish the California Autism Information and Professional Development Center within the California Department of Education.
 
The Budget sub-Committees in the Legislature are working hard to put the 2006-07 State Budget together.† The deadline for the Governor to sign the budget is July 1, 2006.
 

CASP has been extremely active in securing funds for the Early Mental Health Initiative (EMHI).†††† EMHI funded programs are a low-cost method of directly helping children become ready to learn.†††† The intervention provided by EMHI can have immediate impacts on the child, the classroom, and the school environment.† The long-range effects can last a lifetime.† Maintaining a level of funding will ensure the continuity of critical support offered to elementary school children.†

 

We are trying to get additional funds allocated to EMHI to return the program to its original status as a $15 million program.† It has operated over the last few years at $10 million.† Full funding will allow for new grants to be issued as the program was originally designed, that will serve students in kindergarten through third grade.†† No action has been taken to date but we are making a lot of progress and hope to get the program back to its proper funding level.

 

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