"Two-Tiered" Community College Courses Bill Passes
The controversial idea of increasing access to California's
community college system by adding higher-priced classes is moving
forward in the state legislature. The Assembly approved a
proposal Monday that would allow such classes between terms.
Assemblyman Das Williams acknowledges his bill is imperfect
but says it's necessary to improve access to California's
over-enrolled community colleges. "If you fear a two-tiered
education system, I gotta wake you up - it's already here!
There's one tier that can get in and there's one tier that is
locked out." (D-Santa Barbara).
But the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office
strongly opposes the measure - as do some
Democrats. "To say
it's okay to charge some students one tuition level and others
another to me is just not what it means to have a college system
that serves all the students in the state of California," says
Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo).
The measure passed the Assembly by a vote of 48 to 12.
It now moves to the California Senate.
Senate Seeks to Give More Legal Certainty to Medical
A bill that would protect medical marijuana dispensaries that
follow California law from federal prosecution has passed the state
Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg is the measure's
author. He says it's an effort to give more certainty to
dispensaries caught between state and federal law. California
allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Federal law
"It does not create a blanket prosecution exemption for all
dispensaries," says Steinberg. "It only provides that
exemption for dispensaries that are in full compliance with
But Republican Senator Jim Nielsen says California's medical
marijuana law has led to the "carte blanche" use by many people who
aren't sick - and he fears this bill would make matters
worse. "This is a step in the wrong direction - and
it is contrary, I will note, to federal law," says Nielsen.
The measure passed the Senate 22-14, with Republicans opposed
and a few Democrats either voting no or abstaining. It now
moves to the Assembly.