Gov. Brown vetoes budget aimed at cutting more funds from CSU

Andrew Lopez

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a budget proposal drafted by Democrats in the Legislature last Thursday that would cut billions in state funding, including an additional $150 million from the CSU.

Senate Bill 69 and Assembly Bill 98 were sent back to the Legislature without approval from Brown after the budget was found to be unbalanced, continuing big deficits for years to come and adding billions of dollars of new debt, he said in a statement.

Chancellor Charles Reed agreed the cuts proposed by lawmakers would be devastating to the CSU budget, which has already been reduced by $500 million for fiscal year 2011-2012.

“If our budget was cut further, we would have no choice but to increase revenue by raising student tuition and limiting enrollment,” Reed said in a statement.

Without a vote on tax extensions and other significant reforms, Brown said he and the Legislature would be “forced to pursue deeper and more destructive cuts schools and public safety.”

The $500 million loss in funding could be doubled if a budget is not passed by Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature.

If this happens, the CSU has already outlined a plan that would increase student fees and halt enrollment in great numbers.

A “wait list” on winter and spring 2012 applications would turn away an estimated 20,000 qualified students, and tuition would be increased up to 32 percent, according to the contingency plan.

Until a proposal is presented to Brown that at least matches expected revenues with expected spending, lawmakers will not be compensated under Proposition 25, which forfeits their pay until a balanced budget is proposed.

Proposition 25, which also lowered voting requirements for passing a budget from two-thirds vote to a simple majority, was implemented as of June 16.

The Controller’s Office, whose responsibility it is to uphold Proposition 25, analyzed the proposal and agreed with the governors findings.

“My office’s careful review of the recently-passed budget found components that were miscalculated, miscounted or unfinished,” said State Controller John Chiang. “The numbers simply did not add up.”

An imbalance of $1.85 billion in spending to revenue was revealed through analysis. The budget proposed would have underfunded education by more than $1.3 billion, according to the Controller’s Office.