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Calif. Governor's First Budget Proposal

January 11, 2019

California's newly inaugurated governor, Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, on Thursday unveiled his first budget proposal, which included a broad set of planned funding increases for higher education.

As expected, Newsom's budget incudes $40 million to support a second year of free tuition for community colleges in the state -- California currently spends $46 million a year to make the first year free. The budget proposal also includes $5 million to expand outreach for the program.

Newsom's plan includes a total of more than $36 billion for the state's public institutions, an increase of 4.1 percent (and a 5.4 percent increase in general funds).

The University of California System would see a $275 million, or 3 percent, increase under the proposal, as well as a one-time outlay of $138 million for deferred maintenance, $15 million for expanded degree completion and certification programs at UC extension centers, and a $50 million ongoing general fund to support the system's proposed program to improve student success and cut degree attainment gaps.

The budget would increase the California State University System's budget by roughly $456 million, or 6.2 percent. The system also would get a one-time amount of $247 million for deferred maintenance and to expand its on-campus childcare centers, as well as $15 million for an initiative aimed at helping alleviate student food insecurity and homelessness.

In addition to the free community college proposal, Newsom would direct an increase of $411 million, or 2.6 percent, to the state's huge community college system, which enrolls 2.1 million students. Last year the state passed a performance-funding formula for the two-year system. Newsom's budget would maintain current funding rates for student success outcomes this year, as the formula is being implemented.

Newsom's budget would cover the increasing cost of the state's grant aid program -- Cal Grants -- with an increase of roughly $200 million for 2019-20. And his proposal includes a $122 million increase to provide Cal Grants to students with dependent children.

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