Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger submitted his 2010-11 budget proposal last Friday, outlining an 18 month plan to close the $19.9 billion gap.

In addition to drafting plans to reduce state expenditures in accordance with revenues and to streamline government, the governor declared a fiscal emergency, calling on California’s legislature to avoid cutting state programs. The governor hopes to close the nearly $20 billion budget shortfall with $8.5 billion in spending reductions, $4.5 billion in fund shifts and alternate funding and $6.9 billion in federal funding.

The proposal also declares a 5 cent reduction in the cost of gas per gallon and hopes to control future costs via state reforms. Moreover, the Governor has promised to prioritize education — specifically by maintaining a constant amount of funding for education every year — and offer relief to the University of California system, currently suffering from a $913 million shortfall.

The governor has assigned $51.3 million to fund UC enrollments, currently facing over 14,000 students who are unfunded by the state. He also ensured the continuation of the UC’s Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, which covers system-wide fees of students who have family incomes below $70,000 and qualify for financial aid.