Gov. Jerry Brown joined state Democratic leaders Monday afternoon to announce that they have agreed on a newly revised budget plan — which includes an additional $150 million cut each to the University of California and California State University systems, bringing the total cuts for each system to $650 million if the plan is enacted.
The new plan, which lawmakers will begin voting on Tuesday and can be passed by a simple majority vote, seeks to close the state’s $9.6 billion deficit by partially relying on $4 billion in tax revenues, but states that about $2.6 billion in spending cuts would occur if the income does not surface.
If the revenues do not materialize, both K-12 and higher education could be hit with deeper mid-year cuts.
UC President Mark Yudof has said the university could absorb the current $500 million cut it faces without raising tuition but that any additional cuts would likely mean fee hikes throughout the system.
If the proposed plan pushes through, the likely result will be a double-digit tuition increase on top of the 8 percent hike already approved for next year, according to UC officials.
“The latest state budget plan is deeply disappointing,” reads a statement from the UC Office of the President. “If the governor and Legislature impose $650 million in funding cuts on the University of California, the impact will be felt by Californians in every part of the state. Because cuts of this magnitude inevitably will drive up tuition for public university students and their families, we cannot stand silent. While we recognize the enormity of the fiscal challenge facing the state, we continue to oppose further cuts, and support any efforts that will restore long-term stability to state funding of higher education.”
Brown vetoed a budget passed by Democratic legislators June 15 that included the same cut to the UC and CSU, stating that the budget was not balanced and would not address the state’s long-term financial woes.
Brown’s veto of the Democrats’ previous plan — the first in state history — was followed by a decision by state Controller John Chiang to halt pay for lawmakers until the budget is resolved. Under Proposition 25, which was approved by voters in November, lawmakers forfeit their pay for every day the Legislature fails to pass a balanced budget.
Though Democratic lawmakers had passed a budget by the June 15 deadline, Chiang determined that it was not balanced, therefore halting legislators’ pay until a balanced budget is adopted.
Full story to follow.
Allie Bidwell is the news editor.