University library at the Cal State Long Beach campus.
California State University campuses are trying to spread the word on why voters should say “Yes” to Proposition 30 – a measure that raises taxes to prevent further state cuts to education.
Over the next week, Cal State campuses in Sacramento, Long Beach, and San Francisco are hosting nformational events detailing the potential impact of the tax initiative. Voter registration drives are also part of the effort. Some critics, including the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, charge that with actions like this the public university system is engaging in improper political advocacy.
KPCC’s Julie Small recently reported that although a slim majority favors Prop 30 – 55% of survey respondents say they support the quarter cent tax hike - pollsters say its fate is “vulnerable.”
If voters approve it, the measure would prevent a $250 million “trigger” cut to CSU’s budget that would take effect at the end of the year.
Members of the California Faculty Association at a protest last year. The California State University trustees want to warn students that enrollment and other cuts are likely if voters do not approve an education tax increase on November's ballot.
People fired off a lot of gun analogies at the California State University board of trustees meeting on Tuesday.
Cal State system chancellor Charles Reed told members of CSU’s finance committee that the university needs to raise undergraduate tuition by 5% in case Proposition 30 – a tax increase for education measure – fails at the polls in November.
“There is an automatic trigger and nobody has to do anything. It gets pulled midnight November 6th. The Department of Finance will notify the CSU that we will need to cut our budget an additional $250 million,” Reed said.
To dodge that bullet, Reed said, the university needs to raise revenue with tuition increases.
“I figure, if they can have a trigger, we can have a trigger.”
If Prop. 30 wins, Cal State roll back a nine percent tuition increase that hundreds of thousands of students have had to pay starting this semester. But the 15 Cal State Trustees and the presidents of the 23 campuses - a ready force of high caliber campaign workers – must adhere to limits on how strongly they can advocate for the ballot measure.