California legislators are set to begin voting today on compromise budget legislation that would require enormous cuts to the state's public colleges and universities -- hundreds of millions of dollars more than they had been expecting as recently as last week. On Monday, after finding himself unable to reach a deal with Republican legislators that would have raised taxes to avert some cutbacks, Governor Jerry Brown announced that he had reached agreement with Democratic legislators on a state budget that can be passed without Republican support, the Los Angeles Times reported. It counts on rosy revenue estimates valued at several billion dollars more than the state has been expecting -- but still would cut $150 million more each from the University of California and California State University systems, on top of the $500 million reductions on which they had already been expecting.
Leaders of the university systems blasted the deal. "Because cuts of this magnitude inevitably will drive up tuition for public university students and their families, we cannot stand silent," said Mark G. Yudof, president of the University of California. "While we recognize the enormity of the fiscal challenge facing the state, we continue to oppose further cuts, and support any efforts that will restore long-term stability to state funding of higher education."
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