Pair of athletic transfer bills take hit
Both California Legislature bills concerning athletic transfer rules at the high school level were killed in their respective education committees Wednesday.
Senate Bill 1411, sponsored by Senator Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) – which would have allow high school athletes to transfer one time during their high school careers without any consequences – failed to receive the majority vote needed to leave the Senate Education Committee and be presented to the full Senate.
While the bill is eligible for reconsideration, according to the senator’s spokeswomen Hallye Jordan, Ortiz will not pursue the bill any further.
“Mainly because it’s so late in the session and Senator Ortiz will be termed out this coming November,” Jordan said. “And the Senate Education Committee Chairman made it clear that he opposes the bill.”
Ortiz began her first-term in 1998 and was re-elected for a second term in 2002.
While the Ortiz camp is disappointed about the outcome of the bill, Jordan says her office feels the debate over the bill was healthy.
“We hope that in the future other legislators will continue to look into the system,” Jordan said.
Assemblywoman Audra Strickland’s (R-Moorpark) bill – AB 2312, which would have allowed student athletes to transfer from high school to high school as many times as the family deemed necessary as long as the moves didn’t result from recruiting – also failed to receive the majority vote needed to leave the Assembly Education Committee and be presented to the full Assembly.
At press time it was not known whether or not Strickland will continue to pursue the bill.
Sac-Joaquin Section Commissioner Pete Saco was present for both committee meetings, each meeting drawing sizable crowds.
The California Interscholastic Federation, the California League of High Schools and the California School Board Association – in addition to nearly 20 schools districts and nearly 30 individual high schools – were on file as being in opposition to the bills.
“I’m glad the bills didn’t pass, but I’m not sure if the perception is still that we have some issues to resolve (within transfer rules),” Saco said. “Maybe we do and maybe we don’t. We aren’t just going to forget it all.
“This gives us time to discuss and input our new section bylaw and see what happens. I’m not saying ours in the answer either, but we’ll be constantly examining the issue to find the right answer.”
Beginning July 1, the Sac-Joaquin section will enforce a 30-day ineligibility period for any transfers in each sport they compete in during the first year at their new school.
Had either of the two California Legislature bills proposed been signed into law, they would have superseded the new section rules.
To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4244.
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