In a revised state budget proposal released on Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to take hundreds of millions of dollars away from the UC system and direct it toward additional state relief aid to cushion the blow from the coronavirus pandemic. 

The UC system — including UC Santa Barbara — could potentially lose 10% of its state funding for the 2020-21 academic year. Max Abrams / Daily Nexus

In Newsom’s original budget proposal, released in January, the UC was set to receive an additional $217 million in general funding for the 2020-21 academic year but could potentially lose 10% of its state funding — approximately $338 million — in the revised budget. 

For the same reasons as the UC’s budget cuts, Newsom is also proposing a 10% cut to the California State University budget — a loss of $398 million — for the 2020-21 year.

January’s budget proposal had originally included $18.1 billion in total for higher education. But on Thursday, that number shrank to $16.3 billion. The UC’s budget cuts — among many others in the state — are representative of the statewide financial burden brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic. 

In his January state budget, Newsom had proposed a $222 billion state budget with an estimated $5.6 billion surplus. By contrast, that surplus has since vanished and the state is now facing an estimated $54.3 billion deficit, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The UC will lose an additional $34.4 million in funding for its president’s office, UCPath and the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and $4 million in summer financial aid, according to the revised budget.  

In response to the proposed budget cuts, UC President Janet Napolitano said in a statement on Thursday that the “UC stands with the governor and the legislature to help lift the State out of this economic crisis.”

“Gov. Newsom was put into a position to steeply reduce the University’s budget in response to the State’s dramatically diminished revenues,” she continued. “We will continue to work with the legislature to secure additional sources of funding to see us through this difficult time.”

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