Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Budget Trigger and UC

The governor's May Revise proposed budget includes a "trigger" provision dependent on whether there is additional federal funding (not something that is currently moving ahead in the U.S. Senate). Additional funding would be automatically provided under this feature if federal money becomes available.

If the governor's proposal were enacted as written, and if the federal funding came through, UC would get an additional $338 million in general fund monies. Last January, the governor listed UC as receiving a total of $3,938.2 million this year (2019-20). The governor provides UC next year with $3,369.5 million next year (2020-21), absent the trigger. That is a nominal cut of $568.7 million. The trigger would restore $338 million, as noted, which is close to six out of ten dollars of the nominal cut. Note that UC will likely receive less tuition and other revenue and has additional costs related to the coronavirus crisis. Still, getting an additional $338 million would be a Big Deal.

However, as it usually does when governor's propose something that seems to go around legislative discretion, the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) suggests a greater role for the legislature. So there is no guarantee that the governor's trigger plan will be adopted as he proposes.


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