Graphic Design by Louise Dolby

The California State Student Association (CSSA) praised Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget proposal that he announced Tuesday would eliminate fee increases at California colleges and universities.

The proposed budget provides nearly $2.8 billion in state general fund revenue to the California State University (CSU) system. This represents a 7.3 percent increase over the current 2005-06 budget year appropriations, according a to press release from Clara Potes-Fellow in the office of the chancellor from the CSU system.

There is $54.4 million included in this amount, which is above the state’s general fund commitment as part of the Higher Education Compact to eliminate fee increases for students.

Jennifer Reimer, chair of the CSSA and Associated Students President at CSU Fresno, approved the governor’s decision for buying out the fees in the 2006-07 budget year.

“If this (budget) is approved by the legislature, fees will not increase for students and their families next year, saving undergraduates $204 and graduate students $312,” Reimer said in a press release. “College is a dram for many low and middle-income families and by keeping fees low, the governor has made our dreams a reality.”

Reimer added that the proposal is quite a turnaround from late October 2005 when the CSU Board of Trustees approved an 8 percent fee increase.

Joining seven Cal Poly students and many students from around California, Cal Poly ASI President Tylor Middlestadt traveled to Long Beach to participate in a rally to oppose fee increases.

Anu Joshi, President of the University of California Student Association and Graduate Student at UC Berkeley, released a statement celebrating the victory of restoring California’s legacy of being able to offer affordable higher education.

“We are ecstatic that the governor decided to prioritize higher education in his state budget proposal and take the first step in restoring the classic legacy of accessibility to higher education in California,” Joshi said in a press release.

Carolyn Ficara contributed to this report.

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