Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and a coalition of Assembly Democrats will push for an additional $100 million for California’s university systems after low revenue from property taxes failed to trigger the funding automatically.
Under the proposal, the University of California and California State University systems would receive $50 million each from state revenues, funding that was guaranteed to them until a state budget formula contingent on property taxes didn’t meet its minimum.
Speaker Atkins pointed to other revenues coming in well above predictions as an appropriate source for the extra funding.
“Last month’s Department of Finance announcement that property tax revenues did not exceed projections was a serious letdown for California’s higher education institutions,” Atkins said in a statement. “Fortunately, with General Fund revenues ending 2013-14 nearly $400 million above projections, the Assembly is prepared to restore desperately needed funding to the UC and CSU.”
During the economic turndown, California’s higher education systems saw massive budget cuts and increases in tuition that have yet to be restored to their pre-recession days. In 2011, California schools saw a $1.4 billion budget cut.
This year’s state budget was meant to alleviate a portion of the universities’ financial burden, with Governor Jerry Brown proposing a $142.2 million increase from the General Fund for each system.
Despite the increase, the figures fell short of the budget requests put forth by both university systems. The CSU Board of Trustees requested a $237 million increase, while the UC Board of Regents asked for nearly $260 million more.
The bill proposing the additional funds is co-authored by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria).
A Senate budget bill has already been amended to include the funding increase. The Assembly will consider the proposal this month as the legislative session comes to a close.