7-year freeze on university fee hikes proposed by GOP lawmakers
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Legislative Republicans on Monday proposed a seven-year freeze on tuition and fee increases at California’s public universities and community colleges to correspond with the length of tax increases under voter-approved Proposition 30.
Two bills were introduced that would seek to freeze fees at California State University and the University of California and make sure Proposition 30 money goes to the universities so fee increases would be unnecessary. The measures were proposed just days before Gov. Jerry Brown releases his budget for next year.
Brown campaigned for Proposition 30 saying it was needed to prevent negative effects on education.
‘It’s important to remind voters about Gov. Brown’s promises that passing Prop. 30 would prevent tuition and fee increases and that Republicans have stepped forward to provide the leadership necessary to guarantee those promises are kept,’ said Tom Del Beccaro, chairman of the California Republican Party.
The bills will probably end up being symbolic, given that Republicans will have difficulty putting bills through a Legislature with a Democratic supermajority.
The bills were introduced by Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) and Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres).
‘The proponents of Prop. 30 traveled to many college campuses telling students there would be no new fee increases if it passed,” Cannella said. ‘As we have seen so many times before, money that should go to our public colleges and universities could easily be transferred to fund other programs. This bill makes that promise a guarantee.’
Mark Hedlund, a spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).said keeping tuition down is a laudable goal, but he challenged the Republicans behind the latest bills.
``It’s interesting the Republicans wouldn’t even agree to let voters decide on new revenues, fought Prop 30 tooth and nail it when it made the ballot, but now are quickly finding new ways to spend that revenue,’' Hedlund said.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento