Governor proposes UC budget cuts in May revise
As expected, California's response to the coronavirus pandemic and loss of tax revenues resulting from the disruption in business have dramatically changed the state's economic outlook.
Governor Gavin Newsom released his revised budget proposal for 2020-21 on Thursday, May 14.
The governor said California began the year with a projected budget surplus of $5.6 billion for 2020-21. The reduced revenue, combined with increased costs in health and human services programs and the added costs to address COVID-19, leads to a projected budget deficit of approximately $54 billion, he explained.
To balance the budget, he called for a number of actions, including withdrawing the 5% budget increase for UC ANR and 5% increase for UC in general funds he proposed in January. He also proposed a 10% reduction in support for the UC system, UC Office of the President, UCPATH and UC ANR. The Legislature is required to approve a budget by June 15.
“Let me remind you that this is a proposal,” said Vice President Glenda Humiston. “This could all change if the federal government provides funding to bridge the gap or the economy recovers more quickly. We will continue to work with our partners to secure adequate funding to achieve our mission.”
On May 18, President Janet Napolitano announced
- a systemwide freeze on salaries for policy-covered staff employees;
- a systemwide freeze on salary scales for policy-covered, non-student academic appointees. To ensure a stable faculty pipeline and to maintain our teaching and research enterprise, we will continue the regular academic peer-review merit advancement program;
- a voluntary pay cut of 10% for current chancellors and herself.
See Napolitano's full statement and FAQs at https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2020/05/president-napolitano-announces-systemwide-pay-freeze-for-policy-covered-employees.html.
During the May 28 ANR town hall, Humiston answered questions about the budget. A recording of the town hall will be posted at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/All_Hands.
“As we manage the budget situation, the top priority will be, as always, to take care of our people,” Humiston said. “Without you, the critical mission of ANR could not be delivered.”
In a public response to the governor's proposal, President Napolitano released a statement saying, “The University of California recognizes the unprecedented challenges California is facing in the wake of COVID-19 and regrets that Gov. Newsom was put into a position to steeply reduce the University's budget in response to the State's dramatically diminished revenues. Regardless, UC stands with the governor and the Legislature to help lift the State out of this economic crisis.”