Wednesday, September 18

California Legislature approves budget allocating additional $25M to UC

News, UC

The California Legislature approved the state’s main budget bill for the 2015-2016 fiscal year Monday afternoon, with several changes including $25 million in additional funding for the University of California.

The revised budget presented by Gov. Jerry Brown in May included state contributions of $436 million over the next three years to fund the University’s pension, and a 4 percent annual increase to its base budget for the next four years. The budget also stipulated that the UC keep its in-state tuition flat for the next two years.

Under the new spending plan approved by lawmakers, the UC will receive an additional $25 million on top of Brown’s allocated funding given that the University caps nonresident student enrollment and enrolls 5,000 more California students over the next two years.

Shelly Meron, a UC spokeswoman, said in an email statement Monday that the UC will continue to work with the Legislature on the issue of enrollment funding, as the University thinks the conditions for the additional $25 million funding are “unworkable.”

Meron said that capacity restrictions would limit enrollment growth to about 3,500 students in the next two years even with sufficient funding, which is 1,500 students short of the proposed condition in the budget.

She added she thinks that the packages’ requirement to fund enrollment of half of those 5,000 students with revenue from nonresident supplemental tuition is unfeasible, as those funds are already used for academic and support needs.

“The Legislature’s approach is effectively asking UC to spend the same dollar twice,” Meron said in the statement.

The budget bill has not yet been signed by Brown. Talks will continue between Brown and Democratic legislators as the final budget has to be signed by July 1. Brown has power to veto any line-item spending in the budget.

Monday was the last day for the Legislature to pass a budget as set by Proposition 25.

The revised spending plan revealed last month was about $115 billion. The Legislature’s budget allocates about $2.2 billion in additional spending, including increased spending on health care, welfare and reimbursement rates for doctors and dentists who accept low-income patients.

Compiled by Shreya Maskara, Bruin senior staff.

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