News

Governor signs three Bauer-Kahan bills

Legislation covers higher education, public works projects

Three bills authored by local Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) received support from Gov. Gavin Newsom over the past month, for a total of seven new state laws from the freshman legislator's office so far this year.

Last Friday, Newsom added his signature to Assembly Bills 1344 and 807, both which received broad bipartisan support and concern accreditation standards or scholarships in higher education.

AB 1344 requires all "out-of-state higher education institutions that enroll students from California comply with all state accreditation requirements and register with the Bureau of Postsecondary Private Education (BPPE)."

In a statement, Bauer-Kahan said she hopes the bill will protect students from "predatory" institutions with "a flawed history of accreditation issues as well as a track record of misleading students and taking their money and running."

"California is stepping up to protect our nearly 100,000 students enrolled in online, for-profit and out-of-state institutions who are caught in the bull's-eye of these harmful policies, by holding the bad actor colleges accountable for misleading and bankrupting our students," she said.

AB 807 targets equity for low-income students who are awarded scholarships. Currently, scholarship money is counted as income when the student and their family's CalWORKS eligibility and need is calculated. This setup discourages families from accepting scholarships and makes accessing higher education more difficult, according to Bauer-Kahan.

AB 807 makes sure that scholarships are no longer counted against students applying for CalWORKS, and also excludes income received for helping in the U.S. Census.

In mid-September, Newsom also signed Bauer-Kahan's Assembly Bill 1475, which allows regional transportation authorities (RTAs) to use the "construction manager/general contractor" (CM/GC) project delivery method.

According to the assemblywoman, the CM/GC system "essentially allows for the collaboration of the project designers/engineers and general contractors early in the project process to ensure that the project is carried out in the most streamlined and cost effective method."

Bauer-Kahan said she was "thrilled to see the governor's support" of AB 1475, which authorizes RTAs to use CM/GC for transportation projects such as the plans to connect the Iron Horse Regional Trail with regional transit hubs, and that inspired the bill.

"The model created was so sought after that we were happy to extend this option to other RTAs in California to help deliver projects on time and under budget, saving valuable tax dollars," she said. Caltrans' 2017-18 efficiency report cited savings of $44.5 million using the CM/GC delivery process.

AB 1475 received wide bipartisan support and takes effect January 2020.

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Comments

4 people like this
Posted by Why no story about conviction of James Tong?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2019 at 3:14 pm

It has been two days since it was announced that after a 10 day trial, James Tong was found guilty of laundering campaign contributions to Eric Swalwell. This has been in the Chronicle as well as the Mercury News. There have been at least two DOJ press releases about it.

Why is the Pleasanton Weekly publishing stories about bills signed by the governor instead of covering local news, i.e., the trial of James Tong in relation to illegal campaign contributions to Eric Swalwell.

Why does Pleasanton not cover the local news anymore? Also why did it not cover the major vehicle accident last night at Hopyard and Coronado Lane? That was covered by the Patch.

Why did the Pleasanton Weekly send a reporter to cover the 10 day trial? And why does it seem to just print press releases sent by elected politicians and public agencies?


6 people like this
Posted by Gina Channell, Publisher
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 10, 2019 at 4:24 pm

Gina Channell, Publisher is a registered user.

@Why First, thank you for letting us know about Tong. We will follow-up. But people also like to be aware bills their local state/federal officials get passed (or fail to) in Sacramento and Washington.

You might have missed it but we've been covering the power shutoffs that have been causing chaos in the Tri-Valley, which is our coverage area. We've also been covering school board meetings, city and town councils and planning commissions, and all the issues associated with those entities; we are the only local news source covering those.

Why didn't we send a reporter to cover a 10-day trial? I reference the paragraph above and add the fact we have one editor and two staff reporters in our newsroom covering five communities. We can't afford to have a reporter in a 10-day trial.

For perspective, just a few years ago we had double the newsroom staff and double the office space.

Please reference a publisher's note I did a while ago: Web Link
Part of the note reads: "There's no news flash here: Traditional news organizations are struggling financially and the first place many go to cut costs is the newsroom. This, in turn, is becoming costly to the public as this deficit leaves public agencies and local governments under-examined."

Thank you for the heads-up on the DOJ press release, and please consider supporting your local news source. You can sign up here:
Web Link

We can't do it without help from you and our other readers.



2 people like this
Posted by New Subscriber
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2019 at 11:50 am

New Subscriber is a registered user.

Nice post, Gina. Just subscribed. Definitely need to support local journalism.

Now if you could just do something about all the tinfoil hat-wearing people who spam the comments all the time... ;-)


2 people like this
Posted by Gina Channell, Publisher
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 11, 2019 at 12:12 pm

Gina Channell, Publisher is a registered user.

@New Subscriber

Thank you so much for your support. We really appreciate it!

As a member you'll start receiving our newsletter, Local Scoop, next month. We're also planning a member-only event for November.

Have a great weekend!


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