State Budget Deadlock May End as Regents Meet

For Regents to Finalize 2008-09 UC Budget, State Budget Must Be Approved by Thursday

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State legislators reached a compromise on the budget yesterday, ending the longest-ever impasse in state history and potentially pushing the approval of the 2008-09 budget to the top of the UC Board of Regents' agenda when they meet this week at UC Irvine.

Though most details of the agreement have yet to be disclosed, California legislators announced yesterday that they hope to put the budget up for a vote by today in both the Senate and the Assembly.

In order for a UC budget to be approved, the state budget would need to be passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by Thursday, the day scheduled for the regents' discussion and finalization of the UC budget, according to UC spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez.

"Once a state budget is approved, I think the regents would incorporate that budget into the one they've already approved and then make any changes or adjustments necessary to it," Vazquez said.

Schwarzenegger's revised budget was released during the regents' meeting in May. The proposal restored $98.5 million to the university, leaving it with a net cut of $232.4 million.

A final state budget was not yet passed by the July meeting, during which there was little discussion of the UC budget for 2008-09.

It is unclear whether the cut has since increased during the legislature's negotiations over the compromised budget, and whether UC finances will be affected.

Those numbers and their effects will likely be covered in depth by the regents during their discussions of the budget on Thursday, as well as during those regarding the fiscal options for the 2009-10 budget.

Other items to be discussed this week include plans for the university's first systemwide school as well as an overhaul of the university's compensation policies, among other items on the agenda.

On Wednesday, the regents are set to receive an informational update on ongoing plans for a systemwide school of global health, the first institution of its kind.

The public phase of the fundraising campaigns for UC Berkeley and for the law and management graduate schools at UCLA are set to be authorized as well.

This week's meeting is set to include the establishment of a new public policy school at UC Riverside, and the appointment and full compensation for a new UC vice president of health sciences and services. Until now, two separate vice presidents have handled that set of responsibilities.

The grounds and building and finance committees will meet in joint session Wednesday to consider the design, budget and environmental approvals for the new UCSF Mission Bay medical center facilities.

The committees will also begin a discussion of a proposed two-year statewide energy partnership with state utilities, which could include further energy improvements in UC construction projects.

The regents will also adopt regulations regarding the behavior of non-affiliates-people who are not UC students or employees-on university property, which would address activities such as weapon-carrying, nudity and demonstrations.

Discussion of proposed freshman eligibility policy revisions, covered by the regents in their July meeting, will continue on Tuesday, but no action on the proposal will occur this meeting.


Kelly Fitzpatrick covers higher education. Contact her at [email protected]

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