Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Budget Committee Confirms $500 Million CSU Cut

From a statement released today by the Chancellor's Office:

Joint Legislative Committee Confirms Cuts to the CSU’s Budget

The Budget Conference Committee acted Friday to confirm Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed cuts to higher education, which include a $500 million reduction to the CSU’s 2011-2012 budget.

The Budget Conference Committee, which is made up of five members of each house, has been meeting to work out the differences between the Assembly and Senate versions of the budget bill. The meetings are part of the annual budget process, which has been expedited this year to meet the governor’s request for a completed budget by March 10.

The accelerated pace is based on the governor seeking a special election in June for voters to approve an extension of the personal income tax and state sales tax, as well as the vehicle license fee, due to expire by June 30. The tax extensions and other tax changes will provide over $10 billion in revenue to help the state close an estimated $26 billion deficit.

If the governor cannot garner the two-thirds vote from the legislature needed for the special election, or if the election is held and voters reject the tax extensions, the CSU may face additional significant reductions.
The current proposed budget cut of $500 million would drop the CSU’s level of state support to just under $2.3 billion, the same level of support it received more than a decade ago, but the university is now serving nearly 70,000 more students.

CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed and several other CSU officials have been meeting regularly with legislators, the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst’s Office to underscore that continued reductions in the CSU’s funding will stall the state’s economic recovery and ultimately place its future at risk.

CSU-related spending supports more than 150,000 jobs annually in California and the CSU each year provides 95,000 job-ready graduates to the state’s most competitive industries—industries which account for nearly 5 million jobs in California.

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