“Funding higher education creates opportunities for California and paves the way for economic success” Governor Schwarzenegger said in his address to the state legislature Wednesday. His proposal to prioritize public higher education over the costs of prisons comes with a proposal. His plan is serious and paves the way for the March 4 Day Strike and Day of Action to Defend Public Education to further produce a revised budget plan in May. The next step is the legislature to review and approve the Governor’s proposal.
Governor’s Proposal in Legislature
The University of California newsroom, office of the University of California President reports the results of Wednesday’s State of the State proposal by the Governor. The promise to fund Cal Grants to students whose families have an income of less than $70,000/year will be reinstalled if the measure passes and of great benefit to, among others attending the university, the 50,000 new freshman applying for admittance to the University of California campuses. $305 million restored, $51.3 million for enrollment growth are all part of the planned proposed and are directly a consequence of shifting funds from state prisons, in the Governor’s proposal in 2010-2011. Further the Governor’s plan is to hold higher costs cuts today with a $371 million additional funding that would provide the means for the Cal Grants. His call to special legislative session to address cost savings also addresses eliminating state workers furlough days and instead to install a 5% salary cut and 5% in retirement plan contributions to state workers. A call to all state departments to cut their budges by 5% is an emergency is also part of the proposal to address the state deficit of $20 billion. Declaring a fiscal emergency with this special legislative session in his State of the State address on Wednesday, the Governor seeks to guarantee University of California and Cal State Universities funds as well in a constitutional amendment.
“These restorations in addition to the Governor’s proposed constitutional amendment give clear evidence that the Governor understand the vital role that public higher education plays in California’s future” Mark Yudorf, President of the UC systemwide. Yudorf also also made reference to where the funds will not be: in healthcare, home care, for the disabled and public transit. The shortfall of 40% of additional funds the University had requested is still at issue, even as the measures proposed by the Governor give benefit in the direction of the Universities seeing a better day once the legislature passes those measure.