[follow id =”Brenna_Swanston”]
The California State Student Association (CSSA) put out its 2014 legislative scorecard last week to educate CSU students on how California legislators have supported issues critical to the CSU.
The CSSA, a group of recognized voting representatives from all 23 CSU campuses, compiled the scorecard by choosing the 15 bills most critical to the CSU, assessing how legislators voted on those bills and assigning each legislator a respective grade.
CSSA Chief Governmental Officer Meredith Turner said the scorecard is a tool to help students gauge their legislators’ support of campus issues.
“Without looking at a scorecard, it’s hard for students or anybody to understand whether their legislators are supportive of student issues or not,” she said. “It’s to hold our legislators accountable for the votes they take on bills.”
Bills included in the scorecard addressed issues such as improving the Cal Grant program and increasing civic engagement and voter registration among college students.
Legislators’ scores also took into account their financial support for the CSU budget, for which the CSSA was asking an additional $95 million, Turner said. Legislators who authored or signed a letter of support for the funding or authored a CSSA-sponsored bill received percentage boosts to their scorecard grades. The boosts could not exceed 20 percent.
“We thought it was important to recognize those legislators who supported additional funding,” Turner said.
Cal Poly is represented by State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and California State Senator Bill Monning, who received a 79 percent and a 93 percent on the scorecard, respectively.
Turner said she hopes Cal Poly students — and students across the CSU — will keep the scorecard information in mind for the future.
“Students will hopefully look at it and say, ‘Okay, that’s good to know that this legislator was with us 90 percent of the time and this one was 75 or 80 percent of the time,’” Turner said. “They’ll end up holding those legislators accountable. Maybe the next time we have an election, they’ll remember how those legislators scored.”