$2.7 billion could go to CSU budget

Talin Maghakian

Daily Sundial

About $2.7 billion will be given to the CSU system if a proposed $222-billion budget by the governor is approved, officials said.

The $222-billion budget was proposed proposed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to increase improvements and development of California’s infrastructure, such as highways and schools.

A $30 billion range, however, will be likely implemented for the short term over the next two election cycles, said state assemblyman John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.

“To be financially responsible, it can’t be that big. It is just not fiscally viable,” Laird said. “I’m hoping the governor used it [the amount] to start a discussion.”

Education will be affected by the state’s deficit.

“The inability of the state’s general fund to give to education have generally been the excuse for higher school fees, therefore students should be concerned if there is to be tremendous pressure placed on the general fund,” Laird said.

The best way to avoid putting pressure on the general fund sand increase student fees every year is to work toward balancing the state budget, Laird said.

The governor’s budget proposal will also be discussed in the state Legislature this week, Laird said.

“Until it is time to make a decision, the governor will be traveling around the state drumming up support for his plan,” Laird said.

If approved by the state Legislature, the new budget proposal will be implemented on July 1 at the beginning of the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

The CSU and the state legislature in Sacramento as well, as the Department of Finance, will try to make all efforts to encourage the passage of the proposal.

“The CSU is fully advocating the proposal,” Potes-Fellow said.

Gov. Schwarzenegger also proposed a $215 million increase in the CSU budget for the 2006-2007 academic year.

The proposal includes enrollment increases, class and instructional maintenance, and additional faculty. Money would be used for improvements in technology that include instructor equipment and for campus libraries, according to Clara Potes-Fellow, CSU spokesperson.

If approved, CSU will be receiving $2.7 billion to spend on instructional related activities,” Potes-Fellow said. The amount is a 7.3 percent increase that would be given to the CSU from the last budget year, she said.