The California State University (CSU) announced an extra $50 million will be added to $500 million in budget decreases among the 23 CSU campuses.
These extra costs are being made because of mandatory costs such as energy and employee health premiums according to Erik Fallis, media relations specialist for the CSU.
“The CSU doesn’t have direct control. We have to pay those things regardless of what the availability of budget is,” Fallis said.
He added that Chancellor Charles Reed has already stated the CSU has no plans to increase fees besides the 10 percent scheduled for next year unless tax extensions by Gov. Jerry Brown does not pass.
“It doesn’t mean an improvement for us” Fallis said. “It’s a downside risk for us. If the governor doesn’t get those additional dollars, he has expressed to the CSU and to the UC that will most likely mean further cuts for us.”
Fallis said when the state budget is uncertain it is a challenge since the CSUs rely on state allocations.
Dr. Cynthia Z. Rawitch, vice president of undergraduate studies, said when the $500 million dollar budget cut was announced it was based on current costs.
“All the campuses knew there would be mandatory increases for next year,” Rawitch said. “That $500 million is, in a sense, an estimate and there would be an increase in which mandatory costs would go up.”
Rawitch said this is a normal increase in cost because of another year of a inflation and health benefits.
“This brings the total to $550 million at the moment,” Rawitch said. So CSUN’s share is usually around 7 percent, which is between $3 and $4 million.”
Rawitch said since the offices that handle the finances at the university knew these mandatory costs would be coming, they planned accordingly.
“While it squeezes just a little bit more, the fact is we were able to cut that additional money from our expenditures,” Rawitch said.
She added that the proposed tax extension would be a “painful” cut to the CSU.
“The really difficult one that we would have to deal with would be the additional $35 million which is 7 percent of the $500 million if the tax extension doesn’t go through,” Rawitch said.
While these cost are mandatory and needed, students at some point might be affected by the decision on the tax extensions and possible $1 billion cut to the CSU.
Senior Carlos Hernandez, 24, said he is outraged there is a possibility there will be more cuts to the system.
“As a student, you have little say in what goes on especially in financial issues,” the urban studies and planning major said.