In February 2015, Assemblymember Das Williams and State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson authored new bills to standardize discipline for sexual assault both on and off university and community college campuses.
On June 24, Jackson’s bill passed from the Higher Education Committee (11-0) to the Assembly floor. Both Jackson’s and Williams’ bills are up on vote in the Assembly when the legislators return from recess after August 17.
Jackson’s bill has received official letters of support from Los Angeles community colleges as well as from the UC Chancellor’s Office. Her efforts compose the first effort to extend community college jurisdiction in sexual assault cases to off-campus.
Williams’ three measures—AB 967, AB 968, and AB 969—would mandate full disclosure of sexual assault conviction on university, college, and community college students’ transcripts. Currently, only dismissal from the UC system warrants a permanent mark on a student’s transcript. Williams’ AB 968 would require all colleges and universities to mark the transcripts of all those deemed guilty of committing sexual assault.
According to Williams’ office, initial letters of concern from UC, CSU, community colleges, and independent colleges led to amendments to AB 967, eliminating the proposed two-year minimum suspension for students found guilty of committing sexual assault.
Additionally, both AB 967 and 968 will most likely be suspense candidates, meaning that they will exceed the $50,000 general fund cost threshold and be heard in a special hearing for “suspense file” bills. Williams’ office says that after AB 969 has moved through the Assembly, their goal is for the bill to reach the Governor’s Office by mid- to late August.
Last week, the University of California announced that starting fall 2015 there will be a mandatory sexual assault education and training program for all students in the first six weeks of the quarter as well as faculty training programs beginning January 2016.