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Over the last several years, the issue of sexual violence on college campuses has risen to national prominence as students at dozens of schools filed federal complaints alleging that their institutions mishandled sexual assault cases in violation of Title IX, the anti-sex discrimination law.
Fifty-five universities are currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education, including UC Berkeley, where a group of students and alumni filed a complaint in February arguing that the school had created a hostile environment for female students.
Last week, the state auditor concluded that California's public universities are not adequately training all of their employees on how to handle incidents of sexual violence and should do more to educate students as well.
California is grappling with how to respond. In March, University of California updated its sexual violence and harassment policy to expand protections for victims and increase reporting requirements. A bill from state Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, would set an "affirmative consent" standard for campus sexual assault investigations.
The Assembly Higher Education Committee and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee will examine those efforts during a joint oversight hearing at 1:30 p.m. in Room 4202 of the Capitol. The hearing will explore whether California's institutions are meeting their obligations to comply with Title IX and protect students. Several universities and colleges will share how they are responding to sexual assault on their campuses.
VIDEO: Two efforts to get bond measures on the November ballot complicate Gov. Jerry Brown's campaign platform of fiscal responsibility, Dan Walters says.
EASTWARD HO: And the California-Texas rivalry grows. Following Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Tesla-fied visit to Sacramento in early June, state Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin, is headed east to promote California as the premier destination for business development. He will be at the Texas State Capitol in Austin this morning to discuss plans to win the proposed Tesla battery factory for California and to learn more about Texas' business climate.
WE SHALL OVERCOME: In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act, state Attorney General Kamala Harris hosts a celebration at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles at 11 a.m. The Civil Rights Act, which ended legal discrimination and segregation in voting, education and public facilities, was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964.
DOWN IN THE VALLEY: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is commemorating another anniversary important to California: 150 years since the land grant bestowing Yosemite National Park. The ceremony, 10 a.m. at the park's Mariposa Grove, will feature the groundbreaking of a $36-million restoration project for the grove of giant sequoias. Local congressmen Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, and Jim Costa, D-Fresno, are also slated to attend.
PHOTO: UC Berkeley students Shannon Thomas, 21, left, and Sofie Karasek, 20, embrace after a press conference at UC Berkeley on Feb. 26, 2014. Thirty-one female students have filed two federal complaints against the university, alleging that they've violated Title IX anti-discrimination laws by failing to protect them against sexual assaults. Bay Area News Group/Jane Tyska