FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2007
Sen. Runner Named Co-Legislator of Year for 2007
Matters were winding down in Sacramento in August 2006 and it seemed the state Senate would soon adjourn, but business was far from over for Sen. George Runner. At the last moment, Runner literally ran down the halls with his bill, SB 1303, to get it passed in both houses and signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.
Thanks to the senator's fast feet, SB 1303 increased high school student access to community college courses during the summer.
Runner's intrepidness and dedication to higher education were recognized by Sacramento at a special dinner on Sunday, Jan. 28 when the California Community College Trustees (CCCT) named Runner Co-Legislator of the Year for 2007.
"As a thoughtful conservative, Runner's priorities in the Legislature are to focus on improving economic prosperity, business growth, education excellence, and family preservation for all Californians. We honor him for his many accomplishments and contributions," said Tom Clark, president of CCCT as he presented Runner with the award.
The California Community College Trustees is a statewide organization of locally elected board members responsible for governing California's 72 community college districts. CCCT is affiliated with the Community College League of California, a non-profit association whose membership is composed of all 72 community college districts.
In attendance at the special dinner honoring Runner was College of the Canyons Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne Van Hook, who has worked closely with Runner. "Sen. Runner has been a remarkable friend and advocate for California's community colleges during his years in the Assembly and Senate," Van Hook said. "All of us owe him a debt of gratitude for the tremendous work he has accomplished on our behalf. Our community colleges are more accessible and effective institutions because of his vision, dedication and persistence."
Runner has provided leadership on numerous legislative issues related to community college funding, including Partnership for Excellence, funds earmarked for student success initiatives, including transfer to four-year colleges and universities, degrees and certificates, successful course completion, improving basic skills, and workforce preparation.
The senator also played a key role in the passage of SB 361, a bill he co-authored to establish a new comprehensive funding formula for community colleges. The new formula determines appropriations for equalization, growth, over cap growth, non-credit, and enhanced non-credit career and college preparation. He has also spearheaded efforts to improve building processes for community colleges so new facilities can be constructed faster and for less money, thus improving services to students.
First elected to the Senate in 2004, Runner represents Senate District 17, which incorporates the Antelope Valley, a majority of the Santa Clarita Valley, portions of Northridge, Granada Hills, Chatsworth, Sunland and Tujunga in the San Fernando Valley, as well as portions of San Bernardino County and Ventura County.
Chair of the Senate Republican Caucus, Runner serves as vice chair of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and vice chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. Runner is also a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee, and the Rural Caucus.