Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May revise of his proposed budget includes more than $800 million in recurring and one-time funding slated for the CSU system.
Faced with a recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Newsom cut $299 million in funding for the 23-campus system in 2020. However, with the sharp decline of COVID cases due to vaccinations and businesses starting to fully reopen, California’s economic tide is turning, allowing for the restoration of dollars previously designated for the CSU and further investment in higher education.
“This development is monumental news for the CSU and for Cal Poly Pomona,” University President Soraya M. Coley said in a statement. “One year ago, we faced the prospect of years of diminished funding. The proposed investment in our state’s public colleges and universities serves as recognition of the role higher education plays in fostering opportunity and social mobility as well as in energizing California’s diverse and dynamic economy.”
What the May Revise Includes
- A $74.4 million increase in recurring funds for general operating costs. This is in addition to the $111.5 million proposed in January, for a total of $185.9 million in recurring funds, which represents a five percent increase to the CSU’s operating budget.
- An affirmation from the administration in support of a February agreement to fully restore $299 million in cuts to the 2020-21 base budget.
- $150 million in one-time federal funds for deferred maintenance, infrastructure and energy-efficiency projects. This money is in addition to the $175 million in one-time state funds proposed in January, for a total of $325 million for these projects.
How the May Revise Will Affect Cal Poly Pomona
The restoration of $299 million and an additional $74 million in the system’s base funding will support priorities such as helping to eliminate equity gaps, said Joe Simoneschi, associate vice president of finance and administrative services and interim chief financial officer.
“As more information becomes available to the campus, we will be able to continue to assess our needs and strategic initiatives which support our students, faculty, and staff,” he said. “The University’s Finance and Administrative Services department will continue to review, assess and make adjustments in preparation of the final adopted budget and CPP allocation.”
Next Steps in the State Budget Process
The state budget process takes five months, with the governor required to provide the California Legislature with a balanced budget for review by Jan. 10. The governor revises the proposed budget in May, and it goes to the Legislature for approval by June 15. The fiscal year starts July 1.
“With this context, my leadership team is working diligently on assessing the critical needs and investments to leverage this boost to our capacity towards advancing our Strategic Plan and academic mission,” Coley said. “Further information on our fiscal 2021-22 budget will be shared with the campus in the coming weeks.”
CSU to Continue Push for Funding
CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro said in a statement that the restoration of the cuts in the May revise and the increases to recurring funds means that the majority of money requested from the state has been granted, enabling the CSU to address most of the Board of Trustees budget priorities, including GI 2025 and other efforts to permanently close equity gaps.
However, a majority is not all, and the CSU will continue to push for more, Castro added.
“While the $325 million in one-time funds represents a positive and appreciated start to addressing the CSU’s facilities and infrastructure needs, it is nevertheless far short of our $1.2 billion request,” he said. “Given the state’s current financial position, we will continue to advocate aggressively for additional funds so that we can do more to make our campus buildings safer, more seismically sound and more energy efficient, while providing our students with the learning and discovery experience they need and deserve – all while stimulating the economy and providing much-needed jobs.”
This Budget Brief is the latest in a series of stories that aims to keep the campus community informed on how California’s current financial crisis will affect Cal Poly Pomona’s bottom line and what actions the university is taking to close the budget gap and balance the budget.