By Miriam Raftery
October 4, 2014 (Sacramento)—Governor Jerry Brown earlier pledged to sign a $100 million funding bill for the University of California and California State University systems ($50 mlilion each)—but only if property tax revenues met or exceeded projections.
The tax revenues fell short, and the Governor vetoed the measure.
In his veto message, Brown said “unanticipated costs such as fighting the state’s extreme wildfires” as a reason for refusing to expend General Fund revenues on higher education. The percentage of the state’s budget spent on public universities and colleges has been slashed by more than half in recent years and students face record debt as tuition rates have soared.
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, issued a statement voicing disappointment in the Governor’s decision.“Given California’s continued economic rebound, we disagree with denying this funding simply because the money involved comes from Pot B instead of Pot A,” she said.
Brown did, however, sign other higher education bills Saturday, including a measure that will increase access to the Cal Grants scholarship program by requiring high schools to electronically submit grade point averages for all graduating seniors to the California Student Aid Commission.
Of the 230,000 high school seniors who completed their financial aid forms last year, about 50,000 were not considered because their GPAs could not be verified, the Sacramento Bee reports.