Wrap-up of State Legislative Session
The California Workforce Association (CWA) is a membership organization representing local workforce development boards across the state. Through its lobbyist, Rose & Kindel, it has been tracking priority bills over the past year that may impact the local workforce development community and its customers and partners. With the close of the legislative session, here are some highlights:
AB 1270 (E. Garcia): California Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): Implementation of the federal WIOA technical conforming provisions.
SB 45 (Mendoza): Workforce Development; Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): Implementation of WIOA that is expected to include more policy innovations. California Workforce Development Board-sponsored bill.
Status: two-year bill
SB 342 (Jackson): California Workforce Investment Board: Responsibilities: Requires the State Board to assist the Governor in helping individuals with defined barriers to employment achieve economic security and upward mobility by implementing policies that encourage the attainment of marketable skills relevant to current labor market trends. Defines the term “earn and learn” as it relates to job training programs that are outcome-oriented and accountable.
AB 509 (Perea): Bureau of Private Post-Secondary Education: Exempts qualified pre-apprenticeship programs operated in conjunction with DAS-approved labor management apprenticeship programs from the BPPE process. Will allow local workforce boards the flexibility to use training funds to develop qualified entry-level workers for registered apprenticeships.
AB 1093 (E. Garcia): Public Safety: Supervised Population Workforce Training Grants Program (SPWTG): Revises the criteria for the SPWTG program by authorizing a grant applicant to address the education and training needs of individuals who have postsecondary education, or individuals who require basic education and training, or individuals in both categories. Allows the State Board to delegate responsibility for determining the sufficiency of a prior assessment to local workforce boards.
AB 706 (Bonilla): CaliforniaVolunteers: Authorizes the formation of a tax-exempt entity to raise revenue by CaliforniaVolunteers. Establishes the California AmeriCorps STEM program to be administered by CaliforniaVolunteers and operate under existing federal AmeriCorps program guidelines. Allows a nonprofit to host members. Authorizes CaliforniaVolunteers to solicit and accept private funding to help supplement the costs of the program.
AB 80 (Campos/Alejo): Interagency Task Force on the Status of Boys and Men of Color: Creates the Interagency Task Force on the Status of Boys and Men of Color, a multiagency advisory body that would serve as a support mechanism for department agency and system leaders by taking coordinated action in meeting the myriad of challenges facing boys and men of color and assisting the respective departments and agency in more successfully improving life outcomes for this population. Based on President Obama’s Brother’s Keeper program from last year. The Task Force would include California Workforce Development Board Chair and Director.
AB 327 (Gordon): Public Works: Volunteers: Moves the repeal date provision of existing prevailing wage law that governs public works that exempts work performed by a volunteer, a volunteer coordinator, or a member of the CA Conservation Corps or a community conservation corps to January 1, 2024.
AB 930 (Irwin/Atkins): Work for Warriors Program: Authorizes the Adjutant General to establish a Work for Warriors program to provide direct job placement services to service members, veterans, and military families. Authorizes the Adjutant General to accept federal funding to supplement this program and to enter into a memorandum of agreement with other state agencies.
Status: Senate Inactive File
AB 770 (Irwin): Community Colleges: Basic Skills Innovation Program: States the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to provide more opportunities for campuses of the California Community Colleges to participate in basic skills innovation strategies that have demonstrated effectiveness in improving student success and in increasing the number of under-prepared students who complete college-level English and mathematics courses. Creates grant program if community college has curriculum that addresses issues of under-prepared students to better serve that population.
Status: Senate Appropriations Suspense File
Federal Budget Agreement Reached
Congress and the White House reached a budget agreement that raises the spending level by $80 billion over two years (through 9/30/2017) and supports increases in both defense and domestic programs, a key issue for the White House. The increase in spending was offset by administrative changes to the entitlement programs Social Security and Medicare and a variety of other cost saving measures, a key issue for outgoing House Speaker Boehner. As part of this deal, the debt ceiling was raised through March 2017. While the 10-year spending caps passed in 2011, known as sequestration, have been temporarily suspended for two years, which is a great relief for the local workforce system, they were not eliminated and will be left for future negotiations, after the election, with new leadership in the White House and potentially in Congress.