Bill Inspired By Scandal Vetoed By Schwarzenegger

Rachel Shatto

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may have vetoed a bill inspired by DVC’s grade scandal because of his displeasure with the Legislature’s historic delay in passing a state budget this year, says Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier.

“Most of us in the Democratic caucus attribute [his veto] to how long it took to get the budget,” said DeSaulnier, D-Martinez. “I think this year will probably will be a historic record, for the number of vetoes.”

DeSaulnier co-sponsored the bill, AB 1754, with Assemblywomen Mary Hayashi and Loni Hancock in the wake of the cash-for-grades scandal that was ongoing from 2000 until 2006 at the college and resulted in the arrest of more than 50 former and current DVC students.

The bill would have required the chancellor of the California Community Colleges to distribute a model grade changing policy, updated in 2008, to each community college district.

In explaining his Sept. 28 decision, the governor said, “Nothing under current law prohibits the chancellor…to distribute a pre-existing model grade changing policy to each community college district, even without legislative mandate. Therefore, this bill is unnecessary.”

“I guess [our] difference of opinion would be [that] having it in statute motivates the chancellor to do it because it is required by law,” DeSaulnier said.

District Chancellor Helen Benjamin refused to comment on either the governor’s veto or the bill itself, “I just have absolutely no feelings about it, ” she said.