Saturday, February 17

Gov. Jerry Brown proposes UC budget increase, financial aid changes


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Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his budget proposal for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which included about $140 million more in funding for the University of California. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his budget proposal for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which included about $140 million more in funding for the University of California. (Daily Bruin file photo)



Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the proposed UC system budget would total $8.4 million and the state higher education budget would total $31.9 billion for 2017-2018. In fact, the UC budget is $3.69 billion and the higher education budget is $15 billion.

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed giving the University of California an additional $146 million in his 2017-18 budget proposal released Tuesday morning.

Brown proposed increasing the UC system’s general fund by $131 million, based on a 2014 agreement between the UC system and the governor, said UC spokesperson Claire Doan.

[Related: California Legislature approves 2015-2016 budget allocating additional $25M to UC]

Another $169 million from Proposition 2 debt funds would be used to make the final payment of the state’s liabilities for the UC employees’ retirement fund under the same budget deal.

“The University of California appreciates the continuing support for higher education in Gov. Brown’s 2017-18 budget proposal,” Doan added. “We now look forward to working with the Legislature and the administration to address priorities that benefit our state, such as sustaining expanded access for California students.”

The proposed state funds for the UC system would total about $3.69 billion. The proposed higher education budget would total $15 billion for 2017-18.

Brown proposed distributing $917 million to the UC system to cover financial aid costs. The proposal also included phasing out the Middle Class Scholarship program; only those who received awards in 2016-17 would be allowed to renew their scholarships.

Ending the program would save the state over $116 million annually, according to the budget proposal.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said he would oppose the proposed UC tuition increases and the termination of the scholarship program.

“Ending the Middle Class Scholarship would increase the cost of a four-year education by up to $9,000 at CSU and up to $20,000 at UC,” Rendon said in a tweet.

The governor’s budget proposal would increase the state’s rainy-day reserve fund, a fund reserved for times of economic hardship, to about $8 billion. But the budget proposal would also result in a $2.1 billion deficit. Brown said the deficit might result from lower-than-expected state tax revenue.

Brown will submit a revised budget proposal for the legislature to vote on in May.

 

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