Capitol Alert

The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

California universities could get $100 million boost

08/04/2014 3:47 PM

08/05/2014 7:58 AM

California’s public universities could get a $100 million infusion through legislation announced on Monday.

A surge of revenue has solidified California’s once-precarious financial position. Budget negotiations this summer produced a compromise that, if local property tax revenue exceeded projections, some of the surplus could be redirected from the state’s general fund towards higher education. Student activists and university officials have long decried a lack of funding, pointing to overcrowded classes and graduation delays.

As of July there was not enough extra property tax revenue to trigger the college outlay. But now lawmakers are saying that there is still enough money available to allocate the extra college money.

Citing an unexpected windfall of revenue from streams other than property taxes, the office of Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said a Senate Budget Committee bill would serve as a vessel to push through the infusion. Senate Bill 872 has already passed the Senate and sits in the Assembly.

“Other taxes came in even better (than property taxes), so now the attempt here is to accomplish the same ends under slightly different circumstances,” said Atkins spokesman Will Shuck.

In an interview with The Bee before the legislative session resumed on Monday, Atkins touched on the common “gut-and-amend” practice of inserting new language in existing bills late in the legislative session, circumventing some stages of the committee process. She pointed to ensuring more higher education funding as a worthy use of the tactic.

“I will be trying to make that pledge and promise to UC and CSU real by presenting legislation, or there will be legislation presented,” Atkins said. “Given that the general fund revenues are higher than anticipated, we should be able to do that.”

Officials from the Department of Finance or the office of Gov. Jerry Brown were not immediately available for comment.

Capitol Alert staff

Amy Chance
Political editor
achance@sacbee.com
@Amy_Chance

Dan Smith
Capitol bureau chief
smith@sacbee.com
@DanielSnowSmith

Jim Miller
California policy and politics
Capitol Alert editor
jmiller@sacbee.com
@jimmiller2

David Siders
Brown administration
dsiders@sacbee.com
@davidsiders

Christopher Cadelago
California politics and health care
ccadelago@sacbee.com
@ccadelago

Laurel Rosenhall
Legislature, lobbying, higher education
lrosenhall@sacbee.com
@LaurelRosenhall

Jeremy B. White
Legislature
jwhite@sacbee.com
@capitolalert

Alexei Koseff
Insider Edition editor
akoseff@sacbee.com
@akoseff

 

Join the Discussion

The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service