Governor Brown Proposes Budget Increase

Governor Jerry Brown has made a budget proposal that, if passed, would halt the rise of fees within the University of California system by increasing state funding to higher education.

On Thursday, Jan. 8, California Governor Brown released his budget proposal for the State of California for the year of 2014.In it, he proposed to increase funding to UC and California State Universities to reduce expected fee increases for the coming year. The announcement was met with praise by University of California administrators.

“The leadership of the University of California appreciates Gov. Brown’s commitment to full funding for the second year of his multi-year budget plan for the university,” Patrick Lenz, UC’s vice president for budget and capital resources, said in a statement.

The proposed budget increases will give the University of California and California State Universities an estimated $142.2 million combined. This amount however is significantly lower than the $215 million combined requested by the UC and CSU systems in November. According to the California Department of Finance’s website, the state government could not afford to promise that much.

“The state has just emerged from the largest recession since the Great Depression, and its finances remain constrained. The state must continue to rebuild its universities’ budgets, but only in a manner that is sustainable over the long term,” said a statement on the website.

However Governor Brown must get the State Assembly to pass any budget increase and that will have to wait several months. Governor Brown is expected to revise his budget proposal sometime in May.

Currently the state of California allocates $14.5 billion to higher education while at the same time the state’s debt stands at over $419 billion according to USDebtclock.org, though other estimates go even higher.  However, if nothing is done, UC campuses may have to raise fees on students in order to raise the appropriate revenue.

The cost of attending UC Irvine for one year costs an in-state student $14,507.97 in tuition and school fees without applying financial aid. Whether that changes will depend on the success or failure of Governor Brown’s proposals.