Governor Brown Approves $1 Billion in Cuts to UC, CSU

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In an effort to close the state's $26.6 billion deficit, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law billions of dollars in cuts through several pieces of legislation Thursday, including one that will enact $500 million cuts to both the UC and California State University systems.

SB 70, one of 13 bills passed by Brown - which total to $11.2 billion in cuts, according to a March 24 press release from Brown's office - will put the cuts in place for the 2011-12 fiscal year, despite a March 17 presentation by three UC chancellors at the UC Board of Regents meeting that detailed the potential implications of such a cut to the university.

"The legislature has done some very heroic work, these are painful cuts," Brown said at a press conference Thursday. "It hits vulnerable people, it's not the kind of thing that I like doing. I don't think it's the kind of thing that any of the legislators like doing, but when you have a deficit, you have to do something."

At the regents meeting, UC Berkeley's Robert Birgeneau, UC Santa Cruz's George Blumenthal and UC Irvine's Michael Drake spoke before the board to present the implications of past cuts and said that such a reduction would be detrimental to the university, especially if Brown's proposed tax extensions do not make it onto a ballot measure or if voters do not approve them.

Brown said at the press conference that though the cuts are a start to solving the budget crisis, there is still a $12.6 billion gap that needs to be filled.

"We're only halfway to the goal line and we need to find more revenues, or we need to make more and more drastic cuts," he said at the press conference. "And certainly the next round of cuts will be much more painful and much more disruptive than the budget reductions today."

Tags: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, UC BERKELEY CHANCELLOR ROBERT BIRGENEAU, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM, GOV. JERRY BROWN, UC BOARD OF REGENTS


Allie Bidwell is the assistant university news editor. Contact her at [email protected]



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