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GOOD NEWS

by  David A. Lehrer

March 17, 2014 | 2:49 pm

Speaker John Perez

Senate Constitutional Amendment 5, a legislative effort that would have revoked Proposition 209’s eighteen year old ban on racial and ethnic preferences in California’s public universities and colleges, has been pulled from the Assembly’s calendar. Had it passed the Assembly with a two thirds vote (which it obtained in the Senate), it promised a divisive and nasty campaign during the November election when the voters would have to decide on its merits.

Saner heads have prevailed in Sacramento. Speaker Perez just announced that he was pulling the bill because he was “driven by my interest in making sure we come out with the best policy outcomes…. and as it's currently written I don't think SCA 5 gives us that. As it's currently written it requires a two-thirds vote of both houses, and those votes don't exist in both houses."

Over a month ago, Community Advocates' published an op/ed in the Sacramento Bee offering data on the state of diversity at the University of California and the California State Universities.  Prior to the Bee piece, there had been no opposition to the bill as it sailed through the State Senate with a two thirds majority.

That op/ed helped awaken a variety of constituencies to the potential impact of SCA 5 and helped generate a groundswell of opposition across the state (one on-line petition, Vote No to SCA 5, has over 112,000 signatories).

Good public policy has been served by today's decision.

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