Governor Brown Rallies For Student Vote at UCLA
Proposition 30, public higher education and the student vote on top of the list for the governor.
California Governor Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown spoke at a rally in Bruin Plaza at UCLA last Tuesday, Oct. 16 in support of Proposition 30.
About 200 UCLA students gathered around the stage as Gov. Brown joined members of Bruin Democrats, students and members of the Yes on Proposition 30 campaign.
During his speech, the governor explained the importance of the upcoming elections and the role students will have in swaying the vote.
“Prop. 30 is an opportunity for the people themselves not only to fix California, but an opportunity for them to send a message to the rest of the country that we as a people can invest together in our schools, in our community colleges and in the great University of California,” he said.
However, amidst the crowd of Proposition 30 supporters, there were a few students who voiced their opposition to Proposition 30. Governor Brown did not try and silence these negative chants — rather, he said that “even the naysayers should have a chance to speak up,” and let them voice their thoughts before moving on to explain why he believes in Proposition 30 so much.
If passed, Proposition 30 would raise the California sales tax by a quarter of a percent for four years and impose a higher income tax rate on incomes over $250,000.
The revenue will go toward K-12 schools and community colleges, and local school boards will spend with discretion through open meetings and annual audits.
For the University of California, Proposition 30 would prevent $250 million in “trigger” cuts and a mid-year tuition increase.
Before the rally, Governor Brown sat down with editors from different UC campus newspapers to answer questions about Proposition 30 and the upcoming election.
Brown emphasized the need for Proposition 30 by discussing the decrease in state funding for the UC system and other public education institutions in California.
“When we look around and see what we have to cut next, it just happens that education is such a huge part of the budget, and it is less protected by federal law,” he said.
Brown explained that schools face a greater cut because they are under more state authority, whereas social services such as MediCal are partially funded by the federal government.
“The only people left on the chopping block are UC, CSU, community colleges and K-12,” Brown said, elaborating on why schools seem to take the most cut.
“That’s why things have turned out the way they are,” he said. “And the answer is to get more revenue, and also for UC to be as efficient as they can, and to not spend money on any lower-priority items if such can be found.”
When asked about Proposition 38, an alternative income tax increase initiative on the ballot this year that would generate revenue for education, the governor said there is a significant difference between 30 and 38.
“[Prop] 38 is a separate measure that aims to achieve slightly different results,” Brown said. “I prefer Proposition 30 because it has been drafted with a view to the budget architecture and how new taxes can work together with the rest of general fund spending.”
Governor Brown also acknowledged the need for accountability for any tax dollars, saying that the state needs to be more austere with funds to win the support of people and emphasized the security of any tax revenue from Proposition 30.
According to the text of the measure, the revenue would go to a special fund only for K-12 schools and community colleges and barred for use against administrative costs. The funds would also be subject to annual audit.
Most importantly, Brown said the California budget was put together with the assumption that Proposition 30 would pass and the subsequent tax revenue would be available this year. Otherwise, the budget could see cuts across the board.
Proposition 30 is also a “major step” in helping to establish a long-term solution to receiving more support from the state.
“The most important thing, regardless of what people vote on any other measure, is to vote yes on Prop. 30,” he said.
“It’s absolutely crucial for everyone who cares about the University of California to make sure that Prop. 30 passes.”