2006/07 Support Budget

Center for California Studies

Center For California Studies, $424,000

The Center for California Studies has submitted the following budget change proposal for 2006/07. The Center’s funding request is independent of the Compact funding agreement for higher education.

The Center for California Studies is a unit of the CSU whose mission is to promote understanding of and effective participation in the political and policy processes that govern the state of California. Central to this mission is the administration of the assembly, executive, judicial, and senate fellows programs and the LegiSchool Project.The fellows programs provide “on-the-job” experience on the policy-making process to 64 fellows who are studying California government issues at CSU Sacramento.At the same time, these students provide valuable services to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of state government.The LegiSchool Project provides high school students a “hands-on” opportunity to participate in legislative debates on issues that directly impact them.

Resources are included in the center’s request. Analysis of the center’s budget request occurs throughout the state budget process. In an agreement reached with the center, the CSU will present its unadjusted budget request proposal as part of CSU’s Support Budget Documentation. CSU analysis of the center’s proposal will be provided as the center’s budget moves through the 2006/07 budget process.

Capital Fellows Programs ($407,000)

The Center for California Studies operates as a public education, public service, and applied research office of California State University, Sacramento devoted to promoting the understanding of California’s history, cultures, and public policies.As part of its public service responsibilities, the center administers the nationally renowned Capital Fellows programs.The programs include the California Senate Fellows, the Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellows Program, the Executive Fellows Program, and the Judicial Fellows Program.Through these programs, 64 fellows are selected to spend a year working with the California legislative, executive, or judicial branches of government. Fellows receive a modest stipend and benefits in exchange for full-time professional work in state government.The fellows are enrolled as graduate students (12 units) at CSU Sacramento and participate in a carefully planned educational program built around their governmental experience.

The four fellows programs provide the legislature, executive branch, and state judiciary with individuals that have proven academic and professional achievements, knowledge of California government, and a strong commitment to both public and community service. Fellows serve an 11-month term, providing staff assistance in the state capitol offices of legislators and legislative committees; executive branch agencies, departments, boards, commissions, and constitutional offices; and the California Judicial Council, the California Administrative Office of the Courts, and consolidated county courts.

The direct costs of the Capital Fellows programs consist of stipends, benefits, and student fees for the 64 fellows.There are also operating expenditures associated with administering the program. Since the fellowship programs began, an agreement between the CSU and the California Department of Finance resulted in calculation of the fellowship programs’ operating expenditures budget at 15 percent of the direct costs.The Center for California Studies 2006/07 budget request includes a $407,000 increase for Capital Fellows programs’ direct and operating costs.

Fellows’ Stipend Increases ($63,000)
Stipend changes are due to a 4.8 percent increase to comply with federal Department of Labor regulations (White Collar Exemption Guidelines, Department of Labor,Wage & Hours Division, 29 CFR Part 541, Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales & Computer Employees; Final Rule). Under these regulations, fellows would have to be considered non-exempt employees and thus subject to overtime timekeeping and pay. The nature of the offices in which fellows are placed would make timekeeping impossible and overtime pay exorbitant. A 4.8 percent increase allows fellows to continue as exempt employees.

Fellows’ Benefits Increase from 2002 to 2006 ($77,000)
The cost of benefits has increased since 2002/03, and the center requests that the ratio of benefits to salaries be recognized at 24 percent in 2006/07 versus the benefits-to-salaries ratio of 18 percent used since 2002/03 (using previous stipend rate). The center received a 1.5 percent increase of benefits for fellows in 2005/06. The resulting shortfall is $77,000.

Gradate Student Fee Shortfall ($42,000)
Participants in the four Fellow Programs are enrolled as graduate students at CSU Sacramento.The fellows’ program budgets have always included funds to pay required graduate student fees that for the 2005/06 spring semester are $1,842, whereas only $884 has been funded. The CSU Chancellor’s Office will make permanent a $19,000 increase to the center’s budget allocation. Since the center is making the $19,000 permanent, an additional $656 per fellow is needed to cover the cost of required graduate student fees ($42,000).

Associated Operating Expenses ($27,000)
Operating expenses for the fellows are based on 15 percent of the direct costs, which include stipends, benefits, and graduate student fees. The associated operating expense for the increased fellows’ costs is $27,000.

Center Shortfall 2003/04 and 2004/05 ($110,000)
Lastly, the center’s overall budget allocation was reduced $253,000 in the governor’s 2003/04 Budget Act. In 2004/05 and 2005/06, $154,000 has been restored to the center’s budget—still leaving a funding gap of $99,000. Also, $11,000 in additional funds is needed for salary increases and benefits for the Judicial Administrative Costs that is built into the Program Component, Judicial Administration Fellowship Program that will occur in 2005/06.

CSUS Contribution for Center Staff Benefits ($88,000)
Also, CSU Sacramento was required to fund an additional $88,000 gap to cover 2004/05 Center for California Studies program requirements for staff benefits.

Faculty Research Fellows Program

The Center for California Studies also administers the Faculty Research Fellows Program (direct and operating costs are incorporated into the Capital Fellows programs). Since 1994/95, the considerable faculty and staff resources of the CSU have been made accessible to either the executive or legislative branches of California state government through the Faculty Research Fellows Program.

The Faculty Research Fellows Program provides for directed faculty and staff research, such as research papers requested by the legislature and/or executive branch agencies, and organizing and participating in conferences, seminars, symposiums, and similar public services activities.

The direct costs of administering the Faculty Research Fellows Program are grants awarded to the researching faculty or staff. Indirect costs are calculated at 20 percent of direct costs and cover the cost of administering the program and publishing research results.

Legischool Project ($11,000)

The LegiSchool Project administered by the center was developed in 1994 as an educational collaboration between CSU Sacramento and the California state legislature. LegiSchool is an issuesoriented, civics curriculum designed to engage students in discussions about genuine problems facing the state, encourage critical thinking skills, and promote the knowledge necessary for effective citizenship. The mission of LegiSchool is to promote citizenship in schools by creating opportunities for high school students to participate in debates with state leaders concerning the problems affecting California citizens. By focusing on issues that directly impact students, LegiSchool activities and study materials increase students’ interest.

LegiSchool curriculum material consists of a unique tape library and related materials. Each “package” in this library contains videotaped footage of committee hearings, public testimony, and floor debates associated with particular bills recently debated in the legislature, along with articles, press clippings, reports, and editorials on matters related to the bills.Another element of the project is an ongoing series of interactive, televised town hall meetings and press conferences in which state government officials and high school students meet face-to-face to discuss current issues and legislation. These meeting are broadcast live from the state capitol by the California Channel, which enables students and other interested citizens throughout the state to participate in the discussion. Comprehensive study packets are available for classroom use before and after each televised event.

Prior to fiscal year 1999/2000, the California Assembly and Senate provided funding for the LegiSchool Project through interagency agreements with CSU Sacramento. In fiscal year 1999/2000, $125,000 was included in the CSU Sacramento budget for the LegiSchool Project, and, in fiscal year 2000/01, funding was transferred to the center’s budget to cover direct and administrative costs of the project. In 2002/03, the LegiSchool budget was reduced to $112,500 from $125,000 and, in 2005/06, $1,000 was restored. The 2006/07 budget request restores LegiSchool funding to $125,000 ($11,000).

Sacramento Semester Internship Program ($6,000)

The Sacramento Semester Program is an undergraduate internship program of CSU Sacramento that each spring semester places students in a variety of state government and legislative internship positions in Sacramento. Participants earn six units in internship credit plus six units in an accompanying seminar course in state government and politics, which allows participants to integrate their practical internship experience with academic work.The Sacramento Semester Program is open to students from throughout the CSU as well as other universities.Typically, many alumni of the Sacramento Semester Program apply to a Capital Fellows program once they graduate. Participation in the program has declined in recent years.Again, the data indicate the decline is a function of economics. Most CSU students pay for their education by holding part- or full-time employment. Participating in the Sacramento Semester Program thus demands that students not only move to Sacramento, but also abandon the very jobs that allow them to attend the university.The funding provides financial aid to 15 Sacramento Semester students each year, totaling $3,600 each (i.e., an amount approximating the fees and room and board for one semester at CSU Sacramento).This enables more students of limited economic resources to participate in the Sacramento Semester Program and, in turn, creates a larger pool for Capital Fellows program applicants in the future.Administrative overhead is included and calculated at 15 percent. In 2002/03, the Sacramento Semester Program was reduced to $56,000 from $62,000.The 2006/07 budget request restores Sacramento Semester Internship Program funding level to $62,000.

2006/07 Budget Request Summary

The following table summarizes the Center for California Studies 2006/07 budget request and increase above the 2005/06 final budget. The $424,000 (2006/07) budget increase is comprised of changes for the Capital Fellows programs, including fellows and center staff ($407,000), the LegiSchool Project ($11,000), and the Sacramento Semester Internship Program ($6,000).

2006/07 Budget Request Summary


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Last Updated: November 08, 2005