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CSU Tuition Increase Balances On Prop. 30: How Will You Vote In November?

The increase would take effect in January if Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative fails on Election day.

The California State University Board of Trustees approved a 5 percent tuition hike Wednesday that would only be implemented if Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative is rejected by voters in November.

The board approved a "contingency" plan aimed at covering an anticipated $250 million hit to the 23-campus system's budget if Proposition 30 is defeated on Election day. (Click here to read the full text of Proposition 30.)

The plan includes a 5 percent increase in CSU tuition, which equates to another $150 per semester for in-state students for a total of $3,135. The increase would take effect in January.

Nonresident students would see a 7 percent increase in the tuition supplement fee they pay on top of regular tuition, effective in the fall of 2013. That equates to a roughly $810 per year increase, according to CSU.

The increases would only be implemented if Proposition 30 fails on the November ballot. The initiative would increase the state sales tax by a quarter- cent on the dollar for four years and raise the income tax by 1 percent for seven years for single-filers whose annual earnings are between $250,000-$300,000 and joint filers whose annual earnings are between $500,000-$600,000. Income tax would increase by up to 3 percent for the wealthiest Californians who exceed annual earnings of $500,000 as single filers or $1 million as joint filers.

The bulk of the tax increase would be earmarked for education, including public K-8 schools and community colleges.

If the initiative fails, it would trigger more state budget cuts, including $250 million for the CSU system.

The CSU tuition hike would raise about $58 million per semester, with the balance of the loss being covered by planned increases in employees' healthcare contributions, a series of system-wide cost-cutting measures and specific cuts at each of the campuses.

CSU Chancellor Charles Reed had also proposed three additional student fees, but the Board of Trustees' Finance Committee delayed any decision on them until November. Those fees were a $372 per unit fee for seniors who have already earned 150 semester units; a $100 per unit fee for students who are repeating a course; and a $200 per unit fee for any course load of 17 or more units. The fees were projected to raise $35 million a year.

Board member Bernadette Cheyne tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the planned increase in employee health-care contributions, saying the move could be devastating for some workers.

"Before we take a vote I believe we need to know what all of those implications are," she said.

Reed said immediate board action was essential on the issue, because it still needs to be negotiated with employee unions -- potentially a yearlong process.

"We can't continue to kick the can down the road," he said.

The board rejected Cheyne's effort and approved the healthcare proposal.

If Proposition 30 passes, CSU will not impose the 5 percent increase, and it will rescind a roughly 9 percent tuition hike that took effect this fall, although it would create a funding shortfall during the current year -- since the university wouldn't see any additional state funds until the 2013-14 academic year. --Toni McAllister contributed to this report.

robert parkhill September 23, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Right on!!- Bob
robert parkhill September 23, 2012 at 04:47 AM
The California government has been on a spending spree for the last thirty years. School bond after bond has been passed. It has been transferred from the bond fund to the general fund where it is spent at the whim of our beloved legislators. California schools used to have top credentials educationally- now we are in bottom. Our politicians have stolen our children's education. Notice that I have not mentioned a particular party. Over 20 Billion dollars have been passed for education. Almost none has reached the schools. It has gone into beaurocracys. WAKE UP!!! Clean out the California's educational beaurocracies
TheMrs September 23, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I wonder how much popularity the online school systems will gain in the future with their huge slash in tuition rates, and how many college students will opt to live at home to save even more money versus the cost of living on campus? I'm a student myself and I see that played out often, even in my own choice of college, because tuition is expensive enough as is.
TVOR September 23, 2012 at 09:06 PM
We should never vote for any tax increase or bond issue, no matter what it is for! I don't care how many kittens will die. We simply cannot afford to commit more funds to anything, period!
N1smo2go November 01, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Just saw the post about needing my earned salary, and umm, I don't need it. How bout I have worked my butt off since I was 14 and working crappy jobs, served 8 years in the Marines, 10 years as a contractor, got my degrees, raised two kids of my own and a step-son, still work 50+ hours a day and earn my six figure salary. I spend it becuase I earned it, how dare anyone say that I don't need it. I earned it and I need it to live the life I worked so hard for. My kids are doing the same, I make them earn everything they get and my youngest is 5. So you can shove this tax up the kiester. People like me are tired of getting pummeled for making decisions to benefit our families. We made sacrifices and choices so we could live better, we didn't quit when it was too hard, we didn't have kids before we were married, we were responsible and now you want to come after us for your irresponsibility. You can go pound sand. And RACISM is preventing a entire group of people of the economic and domestic progress afforded to them under the constitution that is garned by their own free will power, not digging their hands into my pocket. Popeye, should change his name to Wimpy and Entitlement Queen, to Baby Factory, either way you need to pay your own way, not me.

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