Budget Information

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Jack Scott's Comments on State of State Address

January 6, 2010
 
To:                   Chief Executive Officers
From:               Jack Scott, Chancellor, California Community Colleges 
Subject:            Governor Schwarzenegger’s State of the State address
 
 
Today I attended Governor Schwarzenegger’s State of the State address in the Capitol. I had been invited as one of the special guests in the Assembly gallery and I was one of those introduced to the crowd. I mention this, not as a point of personal pride, but as an indication of the continuing support the Governor has demonstrated for the California Community Colleges.
I was very encouraged that in his speech the Governor pledged to make no further cuts to education in his proposed 2010-11 budget. I will report on the latest details of this proposed budget for the community colleges once he releases it on Friday. Of course, the Governor’s budget is only the first round in a protracted budget process, but certainly, his proposed budget is important as a starting point.

In addition, the Governor showed great leadership by making it very clear that California is headed in the wrong direction in spending more money on prisons than on higher education. He is therefore proposing an initiative that would, over a three-year period, reduce prison spending to 7% of state general fund expenditures and increase higher education funding to at least 10% of state general fund expenditures. Much of the impact of this initiative would help the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC). But I have begun conversations to make sure that the initiative would guarantee that a significant portion of that additional funding would be used to increase slots for community college transfers to CSU and UC.

I know that this has been a rough year. I have been impressed by steps taken by the community colleges to adjust to deep budget cuts. While additional fiscal threats remain, I am hopeful that we have begun to turn the corner. It is not realistic to expect that we will receive large increases in next year’s budget; however, the Governor’s showing of strong support for education provides some hope that we may avoid additional cuts.

I am confident that we can work together: you in the field should talk to your local legislators and those of us in Sacramento will work to influence the Governor and the Legislature. Through this joint advocacy, we will improve the outcomes for the California Community Colleges in this year’s budget process and lay the groundwork for better times ahead.



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Pippa Gibson
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Last Updated: 1/11/10