The California legislature updated the text of SB 1146 yesterday, eliminating the specific non-discrimination requirements that would have created a private right of action for students to sue religious colleges and universities for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, marital status, and gender identity. The new version of the bill, available
The new version of the bill, available here, requires colleges and universities that have sought an exemption to the federal Title IX non-discrimination provisions to do two things.
First, exempt institutions must provide notice that they have sought the Title IX exemption. This information is available in a number of places already, but it does give prospective students and employees fair notice.
Secondly, all Title IX exempt institutions must submit quarterly reports that, in the words of the bill, include “[a] detailed explanation of the reason for each student suspension or expulsion that occurred during the preceding quarter, including on explanation of the policy the student violated and whether that policy is authorized under the exemption.” The reporting also needs to indicate whether the disciplined student was a recipient of a CalGrant, the state-funded grant program.
The purpose of the reporting requirement is not clear aside from creating a tracking mechanism to be used as evidence for future legislation or legal activity. It also impacts all students regardless of whether they have received state funding.
The reporting requirement may be challenged as it only institutions seeking Title IX exemptions, and may cause interference with the institutions’ free exercise of religion.
SB 1146, which passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 12, 2016 in its former form, is expected for hearing on the floor of the assembly by the end of August.