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AB-1358 Student body association: student representation fee.(2013-2014)

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AB1358:v93#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 1358
CHAPTER 714

An act to amend Section 76060.5 of the Education Code, relating to community colleges.

[ Approved by Governor  October 10, 2013. Filed with Secretary of State  October 10, 2013. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1358, Fong. Student body association: student representation fee.
Existing law authorizes the governing board of a community college district to authorize the students of a college to organize a student body association to encourage students to participate in the governance of the college and conduct any activities, including fundraising activities. Existing law authorizes the governing body of a student body association to order an election be held to establish a student representation fee of $1 per semester, collected by officials of the community college at or before registration, and requires an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the students voting in the election to establish the fee.
This bill would instead authorize the election to establish the student representation fee in the amount of $2, and would require an affirmative vote of a majority of the students voting in the election to establish the student representation fee. The bill would, for a student representation fee adopted on or after January 1, 2014, require $1 of the $2 student representation fee to be expended to establish and support the operations of a statewide community college student organization, recognized by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, with effective student representation and participation in state-level community college shared governance and with governmental affairs representatives to advocate before the Legislature and other state and local governmental entities. The bill would specify the underlying goals of a statewide community college student organization and would require the organization to comply with specified open records and open meetings laws. The bill would require the fees expended to establish and support the operations of the statewide community college organization to be distributed to the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges for further distribution to the recognized statewide community college student organization if the organization satisfies certain conditions. The bill would, for a student representation fee adopted before January 1, 2014, provide that the student body association shall retain the authority to continue to receive the $1 student representation fee, and authorize the student body association to conduct an election to instead adopt a $2 student representation fee, as described above. The bill would require the statewide community college student organization to reimburse the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges for any costs incurred to implement these provisions. The bill would also require a community college district to annually prepare a summary of the amount of student representation fees collected, the expenditures of the proceeds of the student representation fee, and the amount distributed to the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. The bill would require the summary to be presented at the community college district board meeting each year and posted to the community college district Internet Web site. To the extent that this additional requirement would impose new collection duties on the community colleges, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 76060.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

76060.5.
 (a) If a student body association has been established at a community college as authorized by Section 76060, the governing body of the association may order that an election be held for the purpose of establishing a student representation fee of two dollars ($2) per semester. The election shall be held in compliance with regulations of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and shall be open to all regularly enrolled students of the community college. The affirmative vote of a majority of the students voting in the election shall be sufficient to establish the fee. However, the election shall not be sufficient to establish the fee unless the number of students who vote in the election equals or exceeds the average of the number of students who voted in the previous three student body association elections.
(b) The student representation fee authorized by this section shall be collected by the officials of the community college, together with all other fees, at the time of registration or before registration and shall be deposited in a separate fiduciary fund established per the California Community Colleges Budget and Accounting Manual for student representation fees. The money collected pursuant to this section shall be expended to provide support for governmental affairs representatives of local or statewide student body organizations who may be stating their positions and viewpoints before city, county, and district governments, and before offices and agencies of state government.
(c) (1) One dollar ($1) of every two-dollar ($2) fee collected shall be expended to establish and support the operations of a statewide community college student organization, recognized by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, with effective student representation and participation in state-level community college shared governance and with governmental affairs representatives to advocate before the Legislature and other state and local governmental entities. This subdivision shall only apply to student representation fees adopted on or after January 1, 2014.
(2) The underlying goals of a statewide community college student organization shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Establishing a sustainable foundation for statewide community college student representation and advocacy.
(B) Promoting institutional and organizational memory.
(C) Ensuring and maintaining responsible community college student organizational oversight and decisionmaking.
(D) Strengthening regional approaches for community college student representation and coordination.
(E) Promoting and enhancing student opportunities for engagement in community college student issues and affairs.
(F) Providing for open and public transparency and accountability.
(d) Fees collected pursuant to subdivision (c) shall be annually distributed to the Board of Governors before February 1. The Board of Governors shall have custody of the moneys and shall, each year by April 15, distribute the moneys to the recognized statewide community college student organization if the recognized statewide community college student organization satisfies all of the following:
(1) Is established as a legal entity registered with the Secretary of State.
(2) Demonstrates compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and reporting requirements.
(3) Exercises prudent fiscal management by establishing generally accepted accounting controls and procedures.
(4) (A) Commencing after the first year it receives funding pursuant to this subdivision, completes an annual independent financial audit, the results of which shall be annually provided to the Board of Governors for review.
(B) (i) Except as provided in clause (ii) and after the first year funding is received, it shall be a condition for funding pursuant to this subdivision that the results of the annual audit identify no significant audit findings.
(ii) In no event shall funds be withheld from the statewide community college student organization unless the statewide community college student organization fails to address and correct any identified exceptions, concerns, errors, or deficiencies contained in the annual audit after being given a reasonable opportunity to do so.
(5) Meets the obligations and addresses the goals described in subdivision (c).
(e) Meetings of the recognized statewide community college student organization shall be open to the public and shall comply with the requirements of the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code) and the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).
(f) Notwithstanding subdivision (c), a student body association that adopted a student representation fee before January 1, 2014, shall retain the authority to continue to receive the one-dollar ($1) fee as authorized pursuant to this section as it read before January 1, 2014. The student body association may conduct an election pursuant to subdivision (a) to adopt a revised student representation fee. If an election conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) establishes the revised student representation fee, then one dollar ($1) of every two-dollar ($2) fee collected shall be expended as described in subdivision (c).
(g) (1) The chief fiscal officer of the community college shall have custody of the money collected pursuant to this section, except as provided in subdivision (d), and the money shall be disbursed for the purposes described in subdivision (b) upon the order of the governing body of the student body association.
(2) The community college district shall annually prepare a summary of all revenue collected from the student representation fee and the expenditures of the proceeds of the student representation fee. The summary shall include the amount distributed to the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges each year. The summary shall be presented at the community college district board meeting each year and posted to the community college district Internet Web site.
(3) The community college district may retain a portion of the fees collected and deposited pursuant to this section that is equal to the actual cost of administering these fees up to, but not more than, 7 percent.
(h) The student representation fee authorized by this section may be terminated by a majority vote of the students voting in an election held for that purpose. The election shall be called and held in compliance with regulations of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and shall be open to all regularly enrolled students of the community college.
(i) A student may, for religious, political, financial, or moral reasons, refuse to pay the student representation fee established under this section. The refusal shall be submitted in writing to the community college officials at the time the student pays other fees collected by the community college officials. The refusal shall be submitted on the same form that is used for collection of fees as provided by the community college, which, as determined by the community college, shall be as nearly as practical in the same form as a model form prescribed by regulations of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.
(j) Any costs incurred by the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges to implement subdivisions (c) and (d) shall be reimbursed by the statewide community college student organization.
(k) If no statewide community college student organization that qualifies for funding in accordance with this section is recognized by the Board of Governors, the funds collected pursuant to this section shall be held by the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges until a qualifying statewide community college student organization is recognized, or shall be returned to the source of funds.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.