Repealing California's affirmative action ban

Californians may be in a position to reverse the state's 24-year-old ban on affirmative action. First, a little history.

In 1996 Proposition 209 amended the state constitution to say that government institutions in California could not hire and state universities could not admit students based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.

Now, lawmakers in Sacramento have approved a constitutional amendment (ACA-5) that could change all of that.

Assemblyman Miguel Santiago says there's been a decline in university admissions and job opportunities in California for people of color and women and he thinks removing the ban could help because as he puts it things have changed in the last quarter century.

He also says that the recent demonstrations and George Floyd killing motivated lawmakers to move this along. It had been in the works since January.

The votes in the Assembly and Senate must be 2/3rds of the members each because it involves a constitutional amendment. In the Assembly the vote was 60-14 in favor. On June 25th the Senate will vote and if they approve it the measure moves to the November ballot for a new generation of Californians to consider it.