Governor pledges support for higher education
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday promised the state’s public universities and community colleges that he would veto any budget that does not include the increases in their funding that he proposed earlier in the year.
The governor made his pledge at a forum in Sacramento that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the state’s much-lauded Master Plan for Higher Education. That plan established roles and expanded funding for the state's three public postsecondary systems. Top leaders of the University of California, the California State University and the California Community Colleges also attended Tuesday’s event.
In January, Schwarzenegger proposed a 2010-2011 budget that would return more than $848 million to public higher education after years of cuts that have caused hardships for students and employees. "I will not sign a budget without those increases in there," he said Tuesday. However, given the state's economic challenges, debate over the budget is expected to continue in Sacramento in the next few months.
-- Larry Gordon