Cal State raises issue with Cal Grant expansion

The campaign to expand free tuition to more low-income California students has been riding a wave of unanimous goodwill, despite its large costs. But the state’s — and nation’s — largest public university system has made public its concern that key trade-offs required for that expansion will be a financial burden for some middle-class students. 

Backers of the effort say those concerns are misplaced. How and whether lawmakers choose to respond will affect the fate of tens of thousands of prospective college students in California for years to come. 

Race Blind Charging Bill Passes State Assembly Unanimously

A bill aimed at reducing the potential for unconscious bias in the criminal justice system passed the California State Assembly yesterday by a vote of 72-0.

AB 2778 or the “Race-Blind Charging” bill would require the Department of Justice to develop and publish “Race-Blind Charging” guidelines beginning in January 2024, whereby all prosecuting agencies, as specified, implement a process to review a case for charging based on information, from which all means of identifying the race of the suspect, victim, or witness have been removed or redacted.

A new California state worker union? Legislative staff could organize under new bill

Employees of the California State Legislature would get the right to unionize for the first time under a proposal introduced Monday. The people who work for California state departments, known as rank-and-file civil service employees, received the right 45 years ago to unionize and collectively bargain over their pay, benefits and working conditions. But the 1977 Ralph C. Dills Act didn’t include the roughly 1,900 employees of the Legislature, who are still forbidden from organizing.