Community and Government Report, July 2009

State news

The 2009-10 fiscal year began on July 1, and California still does not have a budget. John Chiang, state controller, has authorized the state to issue registered warrants, better known as IOUs, for all state obligations. The Legislature continues to meet, however no meaningful progress on a budget has occurred. As of Sunday, the Big Five, the senate majority and minority leaders, the assembly speaker and minority leader and the governor's office, have been meeting in attempts to break the budget impasse. Many Sacramento observers believe a budget agreement may be reached by July 15. Other observers are not so optimistic. However, if a budget deal is not reached by September when the Cal Grant funds are scheduled to be released, the College should receive registered warrants, or IOU's. According to Sue Hooks, assistant controller and budget officer for the College, the warrants will be honored and the College will advance the necessary funds to students' accounts. Once a budget is passed, the state will pay the warrants, with a 3.75 percent fee to the College.

Legislative leaders continue to fight to protect the Cal Grant program. If you have not yet done so, please contact the governor at (916) 445-2841, or your state senator, and your state assembly member to urge them to support the retention of the Cal Grant program in the final budget.

Governor sets election date;
Saint Mary's to host candidates' forum

U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Walnut Creek, recently sworn in as assistant secretary of state for arms control, resigned her seat in the House of Representatives late last month. On July 3, Governor Schwarzenegger scheduled a special election for Nov. 3, with a primary election on Sept. 1. The voter registration deadline for the primary election is Aug. 17. Saint Mary's, along with the League of Women Voters and the Contra Costa Times, will hold a candidates' forum on Tuesday, August 11, at 7 p.m. in the LeFevre theatre. Please come and watch democracy in action. In a low-turnout election, as this one is expected to be, every vote matters, especially yours.

2010 gubernatorial election

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, long rumored to be interested in running for governor, announced last month that he will not seek the state's top job in 2010. With Villaraigosa out of the race, all five major gubernatorial candidates are from the Bay Area. If no candidate from Southern California enters the race, the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor will be from the Bay Area. Not since 1958 have both parties nominated Bay Area candidates. Unless another out-of-area candidate emerges, the Bay Area will be home to not only the governor, but also to both United States senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. Our area is also home to many committee and subcommittee chairs. While parts of the country malign the San Francisco Bay Area, it is one of the most influential regions in the country.

Community news

The Moraga Chamber of Commerce held its June mixer at the Rheem campus. More than 100 business, community and civic leaders stopped by to see the facility, discuss community issues and taste some local wines. Those from the College who addressed the Chamber included Guido Krickx, associate dean for Graduate Business. Jane Joyce from the Kalmanovitz School of Education, Annalee Lamoreaux, program director of the B.A. in Leadership & Organizational Studies Program, Neal McSherry from Athletics and Heidi Donner of the Hearst Art Gallery.