Support for Proposition 56: Budget Accountability Act
AS-2636-04/FGA - January 22-23, 2004
RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State
University (CSU) support Proposition 56 (Budget Accountability Act) on
the March 2004 ballot and urge that campus senates consider similar
resolutions to express their support for the Proposition and then
communicate that support through local media.
RATIONALE: The Budget Accountability Act permits the Legislature
to enact State Budget-related taxes and spending with a 55 percent vote
rather than the two-thirds vote currently required. The Proposition also
requires that 25 percent of "excess" state revenue be set aside as a "rainy
day fund." Finally, it requires that the Legislature and Governor lose
salary and expenses each day the budget is late and requires the budget
summary in the state ballot pamphlet to direct voters to the State's web
site and budget-related vote information.
The current two-thirds vote "super majority" requirement has repeatedly
allowed the state budget process to be held hostage by a minority of
legislators, delaying the timely enactment of the state budget beyond the
constitutional deadline of July 1. These delays have had a negative impact
on system and campus budget decision making during the days and weeks before
the arrival of students for fall semester classes. The delays and indecision
have an impact on the ability of campuses to provide the most appropriate
schedule of classes and services to our students.
The proposed "rainy day fund" would provide a fiscal means for mitigating
the extremes of the "boom and bust" cycle in higher education funding and
the accompanying sharp increases in student fees and their impact on
students. This fund could serve to protect investments in higher education
and insulate students from dramatic fee increases during bad economic
times in California.
Late passage of budgets makes it impossible for the CSU to implement
changes over the whole budget year, typically resulting in double impact
in winter and/or spring terms.
APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY - January 22-23, 2004