There’s nothing like the start of a good conversation. This week, as state lawmakers gathered for a new legislative session, public higher education became the talk of the town at long last.
In the wake of University of California President Janet Napolitano’s threat last month to hike tuition if the state doesn’t give UC more money, the Capitol suddenly is alive with long-overdue questions.
A new twist in the long-running saga of UC tuition emerged this week, as the state Senate unveiled a plan to increase higher education funding.
The proposal, SB15, is generous — it would cost between $342 million and $434 million through 2018. By providing enough money to eliminate the need for tuition hikes, funding more Cal Grant scholarships, and funding more spots for students at both UC and CSU, SB15 is an answer to many of the state’s long-running concerns about the high cost and low capacity in higher education. But there is, as always, a catch.
Our public universities have long been the cornerstone of what is known and celebrated worldwide as the California Dream.
Not only does our higher education system represent a reliable pathway to professional opportunities for our people but it also delivers a dramatic return on public investment by preparing a skilled workforce to propel economic growth.
Concerned that a surge in out-of-state students at University of California campuses may put residents at a disadvantage, Senate leader Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) called Thursday for UC administrators to significantly boost tuition for nonresidents.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed off on a deal that would more than triple funding for California's film and TV tax-credit program.
The compromise would increase funding to $330 million a year over the next five years. While that falls short of the $400 million annually sought by backers, the amount is substantially more than the $100 million that the state currently allocates.
“This law will make key improvements in our Film and Television Tax Credit Program and put thousands of Californians to work,” Brown said.
A bill that would phase out rebates for the wealthy who buy plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles passed the Assembly and could join two related bills Thursday on their way to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.
One of the other bills would increase the number of carpool-lane permits for solo drivers using plug-in hybrid cars. The third bill would prohibit landlords from stopping renters from installing electric car chargers as long as the tenant pays for installation.
Brown has until the end of September to sign the bills.