As voters head to the polls today, Proposition 76 is sparking debate at Cal Poly.
Proposition 76, or the “Live Within Our Means Act,” is one of the four propositions in Gov. Schwarzenegger’s reform campaign that may affect students at Cal Poly if passed.
If passed, Proposition 76 would limit state spending to the prior years’ level plus the three previous years average revenue growth rate and direct excess general revenues currently directed at school and tax relief to a budget reserve. Its passing would also allow the governor, under specific circumstances, to reduce approbations by amending California’s constitution.
The governor would also be able to reallocate funds if they declare a “fiscal crisis.” Manzar Foroohar, the president of the Cal Poly chapter of California Faculty Association and an Academic Senate member, is against the proposition because it gives the governor too much power.
“(Gov. Schwarzenegger) can take student fees that come to our budget and relocate them to the general fund,” Foroohar said.
Proposition 76 would also change Proposition 98, which protects schools against budget cuts and gives school funding priority, guaranteeing education a large share in revenue increases. Proposition 98 only affects public elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and junior colleges. This portion of 76 would affect Cuesta College, but not Cal Poly.
The Academic Senate of the California State University system passed a resolution on Sept. 16 saying that they oppose the passage of Proposition 76 because of how it could affect the CSU system.
The resolution said that these changes potentially endanger the ability of the CSU system to achieve the budget priorities endorsed by the Academic Senate CSU and impairing the CSU’s ability to effectively serve its students.
The senate also resolved that each CSU campus Senate “adopts a position opposing passage of Proposition 76.” The Cal Poly Senate did not pass a resolution against it.
Nick Motroni, president of the Cal Poly College Republicans, supports the proposition saying that California’s economy needs to be “revamped.”
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But if it is broke, fix it,” Motroni said.
Motroni said that if Proposition 76 passes, tuition may go up. But he added that despite the possibility, Cal Poly is still a better deal than any school in California.
“California could be its own nation, yet it has a worse credit rating than you or me,” Motroni said.
In the special election voter guide, distributed by the California secretary of state, arguments both for and against the proposition are posted. Supporters of Proposition 76 say that California’s economy is “broken” and that the state needs to “live within its means.”
Those against the proposition say that it will cut school funding, give the governor too much power, and take needed money away from cities and counties.