Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Budget News from Pat Gantt

Pat Gantt, CSUEU President, sent this out yesterday evening:

Dear CSUEU Board Members and Field Staff:

Prop 92 defeated

The last few weeks saw the potential first positive change in the state budget situation for the CSU. The defeat of Proposition 92 was significant for the CSU budget. Every group within the CSU rallied to oppose this measure with the CSUEU and CFA leading the way. SEIU also opposed this measure which would have reduced the general funds available for the CSU. This shows what we all can do when we work together and focus. The final vote count is:

3,123,759 Yes Votes 42.4% 4,240,858 No Votes-57.6%

Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) critical of Prison Guards contract

This section comes from the strange but true part of the news. The CCPOA, Prison Guards Union, is now under fire from the LAO. Over the years the Prison Guards Union has been the envy of the labor movement in California with their rapid growth in size due to three strikes and the expanding prison industry. Along the way they have courted Governors and legislators, democrats and republicans, with a very aggressive political campaign and fund raising. Just recently, they exercised their might by pouring $2 million to oppose Prop. 93 which was an adjustment to term limits. Oh, by the way, the Governor Schwarzenegger, Senate Pro Tem Perata, and Assembly Speaker Nunez all supported the measure which was defeated. This political drama you just can’t make up! Now, the LAO jumps in and said their contract should not be funded. Wow!

Here are some articles that give more detail:

LAO- more bad news coming…

Tomorrow the LAO will release an in depth review of the Governor’s budget. As part of that it is also expected that there will be some updated projections on the budget deficit. Yes, it looks like the deficit will grow even greater due to the sagging economy and the decreased revenues as some of the figures from the national economy are plugged into the budget picture. The analysis may give some insight to impacts or alternatives.

Governor signs current year budget bills and announces hiring freeze

Today Governor Schwarzenegger signed an executive order that places some restrictions on state agencies. This measure was done to achieve “additional reductions in or elimination of non-essential expenditures are necessary to address the projected budget imbalance in Fiscal Year 2007-08.” The CSU system is not directly impacted by this executive order as it fall outside of the scope of the executive order. The Chancellor’s Office has released a statement on the issue through the campus presidents. You can read the text of the executive order here:

This does signals the severity of the budget problem to the public.

Senator Denise Ducheny Speaks at San Marcos

Senator Denise Ducheny, chair of a key Senate budget committee, spoke at the San Marcos campus recently. She is frank about the budget problems facing California and how this crisis is different from previous ones. The structural problem with the state budget offers little in easy solutions. She encourages all of the CSU constituents to do impact lobbying to communicate the true impacts of the across the board cuts on the CSU. The public needs to be reminded of the value of the state services and in particular the CSU. This is a synopsis of a report filed by Brian Young. If you wish to see his full report, please go to my budget blog.

Brian, thanks for attending the event and sending in the report.

The CSU campus presidents are in Long Beach this week for meetings with the chancellor. The CSU unions as part of the budget task force have asked that we have Campus Budget Convocations to discuss the budget issues openly. We will see how the Chancellor responds. The convocation process has the potential of uniting the campus groups to be even more effective advocates to support and protect the CSU budget. I will be trying to meet with each chapter executive committee in the next month or two to discuss budget impacts and lobbying efforts.

In Union,

Pat Gantt, President

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