By Jorge Campos |Staff Writer|
Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $115.3 million spending plan that could provide millions for the Cal State University system.
In return for the spending plan, Brown proposed on Thursday, May 14, to freeze undergraduate tuition for in-state students and establish new tax credit for the working lower class.
Lawmakers have until midnight, June 15, to present a fair budget plan and send it to Brown for his signature, according to The San Bernardino Sun.
Brown’s budget even calls for another $38 million in funding for CSUs, but the fund will be divided in half, with some of the money going towards enrollment funds as well as investing in ways to get students through college faster.
The remaining portion of the money will be distributed into smaller sections and fund student success measures.
This funding is intended to provide more working opportunities for students.
The measure also includes hiring more faculty and academic advisers, expanding online enrollment, enlarging the Early Start Program that prepares students for college coursework, and investing in applied research and internship programs for students, according to Los Angeles Daily News.
Despite the increase in funding, officials from the 23 CSUs stated it still will not be enough to address the needs of students and faculty. The 10 campus system could still raise tuition for nonresidents and students earning professional degrees, according to The San Bernardino Sun.
“We’re certainly happy to get more, but it isn’t really enough to deal with the problems that continue to plague the CSU,” stated the president of the California Faculty Association and a history professor at Cal State Los Angeles, Lillian Taiz.
“We can’t get out of the hole if the state won’t make an investment, and it just takes a toll on everyone involved. It takes a toll on students slow in their program. It takes a toll on faculty who are desperately trying to help them through. It’s disappointing,” continued Taiz.
Brown also got the opportunity to reach an agreement with University of California President, Janet Napolitano.
The agreement will provide a tuition freeze for in-state students for at least two years in exchange for an extra $436 million in state funding for the university system to offset pension costs, according to The San Bernardino Sun. Brown has also proposed to create a state income tax credit that is expected to help as many as 825,000 families and up to two million Californians.
It will cost approximately $380 million the first year, but will provide credits up to $2,653 annually, according to Santa Cruz Sentinel.
The budget also includes $2.2 billion for programs to conserve water in order to expand enforcement of water restrictions, respond to emergency conditions, and expand local water supplies in the drought, according to The San Bernardino Sun.
Brown also called for $10,000 fines for residents and businesses that waste the most water as California cities try to meet mandatory conservation targets during the drought, according to USA Today.