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California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

California A.B. 2350 - Governance & State Ov

08/06/2014

Sponsor: Assemblymember Susan Bonilla (D)

Summary: Current version (6/18/2014): Provides that the Donahoe Higher Education Act, known as the Equity in Higher Education Act, declares that it is the policy of the State of California that all persons, regardless of their sex, should enjoy freedom from discrimination of any kind in the postsecondary educational institutions of the state. Adds to the Equity in Higher Education Act, a provision specifying that this policy of freedom from discrimination includes, but is not limited to, freedom from pregnancy discrimination as described in a specified federal statute.

Prohibits postsecondary educational institutions, including the faculty, staff or other employees of these institutions, from requiring a graduate student to take a leave of absence, withdraw from the graduate program or limit his or her graduate studies solely due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related issues. Requires postsecondary educational institutions, including the faculty, staff or other employees of these institutions, to reasonably accommodate pregnant graduate students so that they may complete their graduate courses of study and research. Requires the maintenance of the student status and status in the graduate program of graduate students who choose to take leaves of absence because they are pregnant or have recently given birth, unless there is a medical reason for a longer absence. Requires postsecondary educational institutions to allow graduate students who choose to take leaves of absence because they are pregnant or have recently given birth up to twelve additional months to prepare for and take preliminary and qualifying examinations and an extension of up to twelve months toward normative time to degree while they are in candidacy for a graduate degree.

Allows a graduate student who chooses to take a leave of absence because she is pregnant or has recently given birth a period consistent with the policies of the postsecondary educational institution, or a period of 12 additional months, whichever period is longer, to prepare for and take preliminary and qualifying examinations and an extension of at least 12 months toward normative time to degree while they are in candidacy for a graduate degree, unless a longer extension is medically necessary. Allows a graduate student who is not the birth parent and who chooses to take a leave of absence because of the birth of his or her child a period consistent with the policies of the postsecondary educational institution, or a period of one month, whichever period is longer, to prepare for and take preliminary and qualifying examinations, and an extension of at least one month toward normative time to degree while he or she is in candidacy for a graduate degree, unless a longer period or extension is medically necessary to care for his or her partner or their child.

Provides that an enrolled graduate student in good academic standing who chooses to take a leave of absence because she is pregnant or has recently given birth would return to her program in good academic standing following a leave period that is consistent with the policies of the postsecondary educational institution, or a period of up to one academic year, whichever period is longer, subject to the reasonable administrative requirements of the institution, unless there is a medical reason for a longer absence, in which case her standing in the graduate program would be maintained during that period of absence.

Requires each postsecondary educational institution to have a written policy on pregnancy discrimination and procedures for addressing pregnancy discrimination complaints under Title IX or this bill. Requires a copy of this policy to be made available to faculty, staff, and employees in their required training, and made available to all students attending orientation sessions at a postsecondary educational institution.

Provides that an enrolled graduate student in good academic standing who is not the birth parent and who chooses to take a leave of absence because of the birth of his or her child would return to his or her program in good academic standing following a leave period that is consistent with the policies of the postsecondary educational institution, or a period of up to one month, whichever period is longer, subject to the reasonable administrative requirements of the institution.

Amendment #5 (6/18/2014):  http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_2301-2350/ab_2350_bill_20140618_amended_sen_v94.pdf

Amendment #4 (5/8/2014): http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_2301-2350/ab_2350_bill_20140508_amended_asm_v95.pdf

Amendment #3 (4/24/2014): http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_2301-2350/ab_2350_bill_20140424_amended_asm_v96.pdf

Amendment #2 (4/7/2014): http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_2301-2350/ab_2350_bill_20140407_amended_asm_v97.pdf

Amendment #1 (3/19/2014): http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_2301-2350/ab_2350_bill_20140319_amended_asm_v98.pdf

Introduced version: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_2301-2350/ab_2350_bill_20140221_introduced.pdf

Status: Introduced 2/24/2014. Referred to Assembly Committee on Higher Education 3/10/2014. Amended, re-referred to the Committee on Higher Education 3/19/2014. Amended, re-referred to the Committee on Higher Education 4/7/2014. Hearing held, reported 4/22/2014. Amended; re-referred to Assembly Committee on Appropriations 4/24/2014. Hearing postponed 5/7/2014. Amended 5/8/2014. Hearing held, reported 5/14/2014. Passed Assembly, received in Senate 5/23/2014. Referred to Senate Committee on Education 6/5/2014. Amended 6/18/2014. Hearing held, reported; re-referred to Committee on Appropriations 6/25/2014.  Hearing held 8/4/2014.

Outlook: This measure was determined to have a significant fiscal impact by the Committee on Appropriations and placed in its suspense file for further consideration at a later date. The suspense file is a function of the fiscal committee in both chambers. Per Joint Rule 61(b)(14), the committee has by August 15 to act on this measure.

After allowing for public testimony, the Senate Committee on Education recommended this measure for passage unanimously. The measure will next be referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for consideration. As this measure contains fiscal provisions it must be approved by the Appropriations Committee before it may be considered by the full chamber.

This measure was withdrawn by the sponsor, amended and re-referred to the Senate Committee on Education. The author's amendment clarifies the maximum duration of academic deferment as well as provides that an enrolled graduate student in good academic standing who is not the birth parent and who chooses to take a leave of absence because of the birth of his or her child would return to his or her program in good academic standing following a leave period that is consistent with the policies of the postsecondary educational institution, or a period of up to one month, whichever period is longer, subject to the reasonable administrative requirements of the institution.

The Senate Committee on Rules has referred this measure to the Senate Committee on Education, chaired by Senator Carol Liu (D).

The Assembly adopted this measure by a 73-0 vote.

The author's amendment allows a graduate student who chooses to take a leave of absence because she is pregnant or has recently given birth a period consistent with the policies of the postsecondary educational institution.

This measure was amended by the author to prohibit postsecondary educational institutions from requiring a graduate student to take a leave of absence, withdraw from the graduate program or limit his or her graduate studies solely due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related issues.

The sponsor is a member of the majority party. The Democratic Party controls both legislative chambers as well as the Office of Governor.

Effective Date: Upon approval by the Governor. 

*Information provided by www.stateside.com