An effort to overturn California’s ban on affirmative action in public universities stalled in the Legislature on Monday.
The proposed constitutional amendment by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) would have removed references to higher education from Proposition 209, an initiative passed by voters in 1996 that bans consideration by government institutions of race, ethnicity and sex in hiring, school admissions and contracting.
The amendment, SCA 5, passed the Senate in January on a party-line vote.
But the amendment has faced a growing backlash from some Chinese Americans over the last couple of weeks, and on Monday, Speaker John A.
Perez (D-Los Angeles) announced that the measure was being returned to the Senate without any Assembly action.
“The overwhelming majority of the Legislature in both houses believes broadly that we have an obligation to provide the broadest access to our three higher education institutions: community colleges, CSUs and UCs,” Perez told reporters
“When you get to the specifics of the SCA itself, however, that level of
support does not exist.”
Instead, Perez said he was calling for “the creation of a nonpartisan, bicameral task force to deal with issues related to broad-based access related to higher education.” The task force, he said, will include legislators, academics and representatives from the three tiers of the state’s higher education system.