12 January 2011

Over a barrel

That's the University's position vis-à-vis the Governor: Brown is proposing a $500M cut in UC's budget (and another half a billion in CSU's budget), subject to voter's approval of the extension of a number of regressive taxes. Should the voters fail to approve the extensions, just like they did when the same provisions were put on the ballot by Schwarzenegger, even deeper cuts would be forthcoming.

The Governor has indicated that UC cuts are not to be made up by tuition increases (a good thing), and that the
The Administration will work with the Office of the President and the Regents, as well as stakeholders (including representatives of students and employees), to determine the specific mix of measures that can best accomplish these objectives.
I'll believe this when I see it, this just seems like a shot across the bow to let the University know that  they are being watched, and that the University's budgetary and administrative autonomy is coming to an end.

But more in general it is appalling to me that the Governor's budget includes a $1.4 billion restoration to Corrections and Rehabilitation, at the same time as it savagely cuts welfare and higher ed. Cutting across the board is the stupid way to cut. And where is the oil severance tax? That would have been a no-brainer, more likely to win voter approval than increases in sales and income taxes.  Doesn't anybody on the Governor's staff have half a brain? You are supposed to cut cost centers that have seen large increases, not the ones that have been decreasing (in the case of UC, for decades). Even Meg Whitman knew that.

This budget is no better, in fact in some way worse, than anything that Schwarzenegger tried to push through.

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