Commission Urges State Legislature to Place Budget Measure on Ballot
SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to student outrage and protests over cuts to public higher education, the Student Aid Commission unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday urging the State Legislature and Governor to place a budget measure before California voters. The measure would give the public an opportunity to weigh in on whether it wants to approve tax extensions to help close the budget gap. It could be placed on the ballot as soon as this Fall, but only if approved by two thirds of each legislative chamber.
"The student protests are a miniscule example of what will happen if you effectively destroy hard-won access to higher education and then procedurally preclude the public from expressing itself on a decision so fundamental to California's future," said Commission Chair Barry Keene.
"The State Constitution says that 'All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit.' Today, we see hundreds in the streets. Tomorrow we may see tens of thousands. Some astute observers might understandably conclude that slapping the public in the face twice is a form of political insanity," he added.
On Thursday, hundreds of students at universities across California marched and protested against cuts to education and tuition hikes. At Sacramento State University, students held a sit-in inside the lobby of the university's administration building.
Commissioner Keene added that other educational institutions, such as the University of California and California State Universities, would be considering similar resolutions in the near future.
To view the full language of the resolution, please click here:
The California Student Aid Commission is the principal state agency responsible for administering financial aid programs for students attending public and private universities, colleges, and vocational schools in California. The Commission distributed over $1 billion to California's college students during the 2009-10 academic year through its Cal Grant, specialized and loan forgiveness programs. The Commission also administers financial aid awareness and outreach programs, such as Cal-SOAP and Cash for College, in collaboration with business, private industry and community-based organizations.
SOURCE California Student Aid Commission