The UC Board of Regents on July 18 voted to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative on the November ballot, calling it UC’s best option for avoiding a steep, mid-year tuition increase and protecting university quality.
On a voice vote, all but one regent voted to endorse Brown’s November revenue initiative — on the ballot as Prop. 30 — as the fiscally responsible thing to do as stewards of the university.
As part of that same action, regents endorsed the state’s 2012-13 UC budget and agreed to freeze mandatory systemwide student charges for the current academic year, contingent on passage of Brown’s initiative.
UC President Mark G. Yudof, in recommending that the board support the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012, urged the board to consider all that is at stake for UC if it fails.
In addition to a potential mid-year tuition increase of as much as $2,400, UC would be forced to consider a whole range of cost-cutting measures, including academic program closings, hiring freezes and layoffs, he said.
“Given this context, I am asking you, as the regents of this great university, to endorse this revenue initiative. I realize that it may not be the best tax policy possible. I realize that if I were a policy expert at a think tank, I might design a different initiative. But I am an officer of the University of California. You are its stewards. And this initiative is a step towards stability that we simply cannot afford to dismiss.”
Brown’s initiative, if it wins voter approval, would generate an estimated $8.5 billion in new state revenue by temporarily increasing the personal income tax on those earning $250,000 or more, and by raising the state sales tax by one-quarter of a cent for four years.
Although regents have endorsed Brown’s revenue measure, UC faculty, staff and administrators are precluded by law from using state resources, time or equipment to lobby either for or against any ballot measure. The university can, however, share factual information about the initiative’s impact on the university. And members of the UC community are free to participate in political activities on their own time and using their own resources.
Go to the UC Newsroom for the complete story, which includes more background on Prop. 30.