Thursday, December 13, 2007

CSUEU President Gantt and State Budget

This email was sent out by CSUEU President Pat Gantt this afternoon:


Dear CSUEU Board Members, Legislative Committee and Activists,

The holiday season is upon us, but the Grinch is looming in the shadows. The Grinch I speak of is the 2008/09 State budget. Last month there were indications that the budget deficit was at $8 billion and growing in the LAO fiscal outlook:
California's Fiscal Outlook: LAO Projections 2007-08 Through 2012-13

Now there are two articles that indicate that the state is now in same bad place it was in 1991 when there were huge cuts in the state budget. The deficit projections keep changing because the revenue side of the equation is not meeting targets and the costs are also going up. The only good news is that there is talk of tax increases to solve part of the problem, but conservatives still resist using the “T’ word.
Tax boost predicted in face of state's largest deficit since '91

Just at 12 Noon today the below article was posted where the Governor is now seeking across the board cuts. It action appears to be more of a drill or trial balloon. The Governor will reveal his budget plans on January 10th.
Governor planning across-the-board budget cuts

The true budget problem has been there for a while and the state has wrestled with a variety of fixes and solutions, but the options seem to be limited with a deficit as large as predicted. I attended a presentation last week by Jean Ross, Director of the California Budget Project. In that presentation she identified that since 1993 there has been reductions equal to $11 billion in tax cuts by the state. These cuts became even more painful as there was a bust in the industry and now we have the impacts of the housing industry on the state economy.

It is too early to tell what the direct impact may be on the CSU, but there will be an impact. We will be analyzing the budget situation and will meet with the Chancellor's Office budget staff early in January to identify any impacts. I would like each chapter to make sure that either they have someone on the campus budget committee or that someone attends to observe the discussions. Your presence will help identify impacts and the reactions of the campuses. Past experience has taught us that each campus may react to budget shortfalls differently and we need to know potential impacts to our represented employees as early as possible.

I will keep you posted any developments through email or posts on the CSUEU website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Please share this information with your members.

In Union,
Pat Gantt, President

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