Gov. Jerry Brown’s Cuts to UC System Could Double if Proposed Tax Extensions Not Placed on Fall Ballot

Despite a revised state budget

plan that includes $6.6 billion more

revenue than previously expected, the

University of California systemwide

budget cuts for 2011-12 will remain

at $500 million and could double if a

proposed tax extension fails.

According to a May 16 UC

Student Association press release,

Gov. Jerry Brown hopes to place tax

extensions on the November ballot in

order to close California’s remaining

$10-billion deficit, down from the

original $15 billion. With the revenue

generated from tax extensions, the

system-wide budget cuts would

stay at the originally proposed $500

million.

But, according to UCSA Executive

Director Matthew Haney, Brown does

not currently have the Republican

votes needed to propose the tax

extension. If the tax extensions fail,

the UC system cuts could double to

$1 billion for the 2011-12 academic

year, Vice President of External

Affairs Samer Naji said.

“Republicans are holding up

legislation to extend tax increases,”

Naji said. “If voters extend taxes,

the most that would be cut is $500

million.”

Gov. Brown’s 2011-12 budget

proposal includes a $1.4 billion

overall cut to higher education which

includes the UC, CSU and community

college systems. According to a press

release from UCSA representative

Christine Byon, a $1-billion cut to

the UC system could result in tuition

fees as high as $20-$25,000. The UC

Regents voted to raise tuition by 32

percent for the 2009-10 academic

year and by 8 percent for the 2010-

11 academic year. California resident

undergraduate students currently pay

$10,302 in educational and student

services fees in addition to campusbased

fees. Cost of attendance at

UCSD with both of these fees is

$11,330.

According to Byon, UC students

plan to hold a budget “Day of Action”

on Friday, May 20 to demand an end

to higher education cuts and a vote to

put tax extensions on the ballot. The

United States Student Association

organized a Day of Action for March

2 of this year in response to the

budget cuts. UCSD students did not

take part in this, despite last year’s

successful March 4 protest in which

800 people marched.

“Doubling the cut would reduce

the state’s contribution to the

university’s core funds —monies that

pay professors and staff members,

light the libraries, maintain the

campuses and all the rest — to

roughly $2 billion,” UC President

Mark Yudof said in a May 16 press

release.

According to Naji, the

administration plans to deal with

the budget cuts at UCSD by closing

CLICS and other campus libraries.

University staff and students

from the Student Worker Collective

and the local chapter of American

Federation of State, County and

Municipal Employees union met May

12 on Library Walk and Hillcrest

Medical Center to protest the budget

cuts. According to senior custodian

Jose Puga, about 200 people attended

the protests.

“Instead of cutting workers or

increasing tuition, UC administrators’

benefits can be cut,” Puga said. “Their

perks are very expensive, and all of

us have to pay — both students and

workers.”

According to Puga, taking $1,000

off of UC administrators’ benefits

could save $20 million annually.

Naji is working with Student-

Organized Public Affairs

Committee head Arshya Sharifian

to increase on-campus student voter

registration and student presence in

California’s elections.

“Jerry Brown kicked off his

campaign at UCSB, which has the

highest percentage of registered

voters,” Naji said. “If we registered

40 percent of our students, he would

listen.”

According to Naji, 38 percent

of UCSB students are registered

voters, compared to only 6 percent

of UCSD students.

UCSD spokesperson Rex

Graham could not be reached for

comment.

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