UC Students Respond to Governor’s 2016-17 Budget Proposal, Implications for UC

January 07, 2016

By , Organizing Director 

SACRAMENTO, CA - Today, Governor Edmund G. Brown unveiled his 2016-17 California State Budget proposal. The University of California Student Association President Kevin Sabo made the following comments after reviewing the budget announced today:

“Continued reinvestment in California’s public education is slow but necessary. While in the recent past the UC and State struggled to prioritize funds to support the system and recover from the recession, this year we see a true partnership from both stakeholders to keep tuition flat. However, the Legislature should break away from writing the University blank checks without guaranteeing specific investments in solving the UC’s ongoing problems. Year after year, both the State and the UC fail to address one key issue that leaves the lives of thousands of students balanced on the edge of crisis: food and housing security.

It is a problem neither the State nor University created, but is one they must partner to solve. Affordability measures beyond the cost of tuition are critical. The UC Student Association has collected hundreds of stories from students living in unsafe, abusive, and substandard housing, unable to pay for food because of the high cost of a UC education. In many areas with UC campuses, housing is impacted and price-gouged. Students have nowhere to live, so they are forced to choose homelessness. Campus dining refuses to take food stamps, so they are forced to choose hunger.

The time is now for public leadership to address UC’s housing and food crisis. This budget will support the new enrollment of thousands of additional UC students. But the ones here already are struggling to survive. Will Governor Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano allow them to come out of the shadows by acknowledging that the cost of attending UC is more out of reach than ever before? Will they build new much-needed housing and provide aid to cover costs outside of the tuition checks collected by the UC Regents?

This is my challenge to them both after reviewing this budget. I look forward to engaging the Administration, Legislature, and University over the coming months.”

The budget provides the UC with an additional $125 million from the State General Fund. As agreed in 2015, the University will receive $171 million in one-time funding from Proposition 2 to assist in paying down unfunded liabilities in its retirement plan and additional funds to support enrollment growth. Finally, $35 million will be provided for deferred maintenance projects and $25 million for projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The University of California Student Association is the official voice of over 250,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from all ten UC campuses. Its mission is to advocate on behalf of current and future students for the accessibility, affordability, and quality of the University of California system.

A pdf verson of this press release can be found here.