Capitol Alert

AM Alert: UC funding, nonresident enrollment scrutinized in oversight hearing

Students walk through the Sather Gate at the University of California, Berkeley.
Students walk through the Sather Gate at the University of California, Berkeley. The Associated Press

A 2011 state audit found huge disparities in the amount of money the University of California doles out to its ten campuses – from $12,309 per student at UC Santa Barbara to $55,186 per student at UC San Francisco – with the schools serving greater numbers of black and Latino students receiving less funding. UC called the racial correlation drawn by the report “inflammatory,” but it has since been working to shift spending within the system so that students in comparable programs at different campuses are funded at the same level.

While the “rebenching initiative” is due to be complete by 2018, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and Assembly Higher Education Committee are holding an oversight hearing, 9:30 a.m. in Room 4202 of the Capitol, to review progress on the effort. State Auditor Elaine Howle, UC Chief Financial Officer Nathan Brostrom and UC Student Association President Jefferson Kuoch-Seng are slated to testify.

Among the committees’ concerns is the effect of out-of-state and international student enrollment, which has exploded in recent years as UC campuses have stepped up their recruiting outside California. Extra fees paid by nonresident students bring in hundreds of millions of dollars per year, but vary widely by campus.

VIDEO: Dan Walters questions the wisdom of California’s political elite to honor former Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey at a party in San Francisco this week.

SHOW ME THE MONEY: In-home health aides are stepping up their protest against Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision not to pay them overtime by filing wage theft claims with the state Department of Industrial Relations in cities across California today, including Sacramento, San Diego and Santa Ana. State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, will join home health workers for the announcement, 10:30 a.m. at the "vigil" they established last week outside the governor’s office at the Capitol.

DO UC AN OPPORTUNITY?: While Brown has been locked in a funding battle with the University of California, Senate Democrats are pushing a higher education spending plan this year that would give more money to UC to avoid a proposed tuition increase. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, will discuss the proposal, which would also pay California State University students to finish faster and expand enrollment in both systems, at a roundtable hosted by the Campaign for College Opportunity, 10:30 a.m. at Cafeteria 15L on 15th Street.

FRACK REVIEW: In 2013, the Legislature passed regulations on the controversial oil extraction method known as fracking that required groundwater monitoring, notification of communities where new wells are drilled, and more disclosure of the chemicals used for fracking projects. The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water will hold a hearing on implementation of the rules, 1:30 p.m. in Room 4203 of the Capitol.

SHARING CIRCLE: The latest edition of She Shares, a speaker series focused on women leaders in California, brings together two legislative leaders from across the aisle. Dewey Square Group’s Karen Breslau will moderate a conversation between Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, 5 p.m. at the California Museum on O Street.

OIL YOU NEED IS CLEAN ENERGY: Assembly members Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, and Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, host a screening of The Burden, a documentary about American dependence on fossil fuels and how the military is transitioning away from oil, 5 p.m. at the Crest Theater on K Street. Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, will offer welcome remarks and the film will be followed by a panel discussion.

MADDY ABOUT YOU: California’s top political leaders will attend a fundraiser tonight to raise money for the legislative intern program run by the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at Fresno State. Brown, de León, Atkins, Olsen and Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff are all scheduled to appear at the $250-per-ticket reception, 6 p.m. at the Old Senator Hotel on L Street, which will be emceed by former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, who turns 71 today, and Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, who turns 55.

READ MORE: University of California steps up out-of-state recruiting

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.