Governor declares California’s budget deficit-free

In January, Gov. Jerry Brown revealed that California now has no budget deficit, which once was $25 million two years ago. Gov. Brown released a Governor’s Budget Summary which includes plans to increase educational funding.

The spending plan, which derives from a $97.6 billion yearly fund, calls for certain advancements in education. This includes an extra $250 million — a 7 percent increase from this year’s budget — for each state university.

Some students have expressed their optimistic feelings toward the aspect of more money, citing more resources as a positive result.

“I guess it [the $250 million] would make a difference because in the past couple years, [there’ve] been class subjects that have been cut,” said first-year environmental and science management major Jennie Hoang.

Hoang continued to advocate for the spending plan by reasoning the argument with her own experiences.

“A larger budget would possibly mean more class sections being opened up so people wouldn’t be stuck on the waitlist for a [chemistry] lab section, for example, but already be added into the [chemistry] lecture section which isn’t really fair,” she said.

In addition to monetary increases, Gov. Brown has also implemented a unit cap which will continue to decrease after two years, limiting the number of classes a student may enroll in. Students are still allowed to enroll in extra classes, but are required to pay full price, or out-of-state tuition, for the courses.

The goal of this policy is to encourage students to efficiently complete their degree requirements, an average of 180 semester units at California State Universities (CSU) and 270 quarterly units at University of California (UC) institutions.

Some, however, do not necessarily agree with the rule because they have positive first-hand experience from taking extra courses.

“I come from a liberal arts background and I benefited from taking different classes because, otherwise, I wouldn’t have had many choices of majors to choose from,” said women’s studies teaching assistant Bidita Tithi.

The plan opens up a possibility for tuition changes, to which some students stated that they do not mind as long as the prices don’t increase. They additionally presented an acceptance of the class limitation, favoring a focus on degree requirements.

“If [tuition] decreases, then I’d be fine with it. The fact that we’re required to take general education [courses] seems pointless to me so if the cap gets rid of that, then we can focus on our majors,” said second-year biological sciences major Naoki Hirasawa.

Gov. Brown’s plan will take effect July 1 for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

WENDY CHAO can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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