Proposition 30 — Gov. Jerry Brown’s state ballot initiative that will provide the UC system with an extra $175 million and prevent further cuts — passed in the early morning hours of Nov. 7.
Prop 30 will also prevent the UC system from receiving a $375 million budget reduction, saving it from a mid-year tuition hike of 20 percent, and also protects other public education institutions from further funding cuts. The legislation raises income taxes on annual earnings of $250,000 and more for a period of 7 years, while increasing the state sales taxes by a quarter of a cent — from 7.25 to 7.5 percent — for four years.
UC Office of the President Spokeswoman Dianne Klein said Prop 30 will keep the UC system afloat by supplying the institution with support and funding efforts coming directly from state government.
“It will provide more financial stability to the state and to the school,” Klein said. “The governor has said that he supports the University and has talked about entering a multiyear agreement to fund the UC with a certain percentage of the money generated.”
Klein added that the UC Board of Regents will meet next week at UCSF Mission Bay and will vote on the proposed UC budget on Wednesday.
According to Klein, the state budget had been structured with the assumption that Prop 30 would pass, adding that trigger cuts would have resulted if the initiative failed to receive enough votes. Klein said in the past few years, the UC system alone has received over $900 million in state funding cuts.
While the new tax will bolster UC funds in the next few years, the University will still have to face other fiscal dilemmas, Klein said.
“Is Prop 30 the answer to all of our prayers?” Klein asked. “No, but it gives us breathing space and stability. We’re hopeful it will provide room for more reinvestment in education.”
UC President Mark Yudof made a statement on Prop 30, encouraging the state to prioritize the issue of government-backed higher education.
“The passage of Proposition 30 represents an opportunity for California and its political leadership to put public higher education back on a pathway toward fiscal stability,” Yudof said. “This is an opportunity of great importance not only to the University of California and other higher education segments, but also to the state as a whole, and we cannot afford to let it slip away.”
Furthermore, Board of Regents Chair Sherry Lansing made a statement thanking California residents for their support of the proposition.
“The victory will certainly help us in our battle to restore fiscal stability to the University of California. I am deeply grateful to all who advocated for Proposition 30, especially the students who worked so incredibly hard to get out the vote and the many faculty members and alumni who argued so eloquently for its passage,” Lansing said. “We will remain steadfast in our determination to preserve the quality, access and public service that have made the University of California an indispensable resource for the entire state.”
It is still uncertain when the UC system will see the effects of the bill, but according to Klein, the prior issue of possibly increased tuition is no longer of pressing concern.
“I can’t tell you exactly when we’ll see the money, but we didn’t raise the tuition and raising tuition is not on the agenda for the next UC Regents meeting,” Klein said.