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No School Bond, Lawmaker Suspension Measures On November Ballot

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California’s November ballot is now set. Lawmakers have been pushing to send two more measures to voters. But a school bond and a constitutional amendment allowing the Legislature to suspend lawmakers without pay have both stalled.

The school bond didn’t get any “no” votes as it moved through the California Legislature. Union, builder, school and business groups all supported it.

But Gov. Jerry Brown did not. He didn’t want the state to add any more debt – especially since he was already negotiating a water bond.

Even a late push from supporters to cut the size of the school bond in half and make its focus more urban wasn’t enough to get the governor on board.

"It's dead," the governor's office said Tuesday morning.

"The governor has made it clear that he does not want a school bond on the same ballot as the water bond and rainy day fund. We do not expect the legislature to send the bill on him," said school bond author Asm. Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) in a statement.

The clock also ran out on a constitutional amendment authored by Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) after three of his caucus members in legal trouble were suspended with pay.

The state constitution doesn’t allow lawmakers to be suspended without pay. The Senate passed an amendment in May that would give the Legislature that option, but the Assembly has yet to act.

Steinberg hopes the Assembly will place it on the June 2016 ballot before the bill dies at the end of the month.


Senate Passes School District "Willful Defiance" Bill

The California Senate has approved a bill that would prohibit school districts from expelling students for acts of “willful defiance.” That’s where a student repeatedly disrupts school activities or intentionally ignores authorities.

Democratic Senator Marty Block says students accused of “willful defiance” ought to serve their suspensions on-campus instead of off. “You don’t send them to an environment where they are now out on the streets, where they can take advantage of other law-abiding people on the streets. Instead, you keep them in the school,” Block says.

But Republican Senator Jim Nielsen says there’s good reason for “willfully defiant” students to be removed from the classroom. “In the home environment, it’s called time out. But when you get into the school, you’re affecting a lot of others’ lives,” Nielsen says.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 24-8 and now awaits a final vote in the Assembly.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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