The two Democratic leaders of the California state Legislature threw their support behind California State University administrators, faculty and students calling for more state funding.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate leader Toni Atkins joined hundreds of red T-shirted CSU students and faculty gathered near one of the state Capitol’s main entrances Wednesday.
“There’s one thing absolutely certain. It’s that we can never balance the CSU budget on the backs of students and their families or the faculty and their families,” said Atkins to cheers.
But, asked after their speeches, both legislative leaders said while they’re supportive of more funding, they wouldn’t commit to a level beyond what the governor proposed in January.
“I'd like to see us get there, but we'll run it through the budget process,” Rendon said.
In his January budget, Brown proposed a 3 percent bump — and he was pretty adamant about that funding level.
“You’re getting 3 percent more and that’s it,” Brown said. “They’re not going to get anymore. And they got to manage. I think they need a little more scrutiny over how they’re spending things.”
Brown’s Department of Finance says CSU funding has grown by more than $1.5 billion since 2011. But that’s after being cut by a third in the recession. The faculty wants another $300 million, in addition to the governor’s proposal.
The board says, without at least half that, it’ll raise the money through a tuition increase—which the governor, the faculty and students all oppose.
Last month, 25 Democrats in the state Assembly signed onto a letter of support for the board’s request.