November 9, 2012
Budget & Finance
CA: California voters pass Proposition 30
California voters went to the polls Tuesday and approved Proposition 30, a ballot measure that will increase state sales and income taxes to fund K-12 and higher education. The measure will boost the California sales tax by a quarter of a cent for four years starting January 1, 2013 and increase income taxes for people who make at least $250,000 by up to three percentage points for seven years, retroactive to the start of the 2012 tax year. Proposition 30 was approved with 54 percent of the vote and is the first general tax increase passed by state voters in two decades.
San Jose Mercury News (Date posted: November 7, 2012)
NJ: Voters authorize $750 million bond measure
A $750 million state borrowing plan to build labs and classrooms on New Jersey's public and private college and university campuses passed Tuesday with over 60 percent of the vote. The bond will be split among research universities ($300 million), state colleges ($247.5 million), county colleges ($150 million) and private colleges ($52.5 million). The bond measure received support from Gov. Chris Christie (R) and a coalition of 200 labor, education and policy organizations.
The Star-Ledger (Date posted: November 7, 2012)
MD: State DREAM Act to become law
This week Maryland voters approved Question 4, a ballot measure known as the state DREAM Act. The provision permits undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates at the state's public colleges and universities if they attended a state high school for three years, first go to a community college, have their parents file a state tax return and meet other requirements. The measure had passed the legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) in 2011, but was sent to the state ballot after a successful petition drive. Maryland will join a dozen other states with similar policies.
Washington Post (Date posted: November 7, 2012)
CA: Cal State to weigh fee increases for some students
The California State University Board of Trustees will consider a new series of student fees next week with the goal of encouraging students to graduate faster in order to free up slots for other students. The first proposed fee ($372 per unit) is for "super seniors" who have already accumulated 160 semester credits. The second fee ($91 per unit) is for students who are repeating a class. The third fee ($182 per unit) is for courses beyond 18 units a semester, which is designed to prevent students from enrolling in classes they will later drop. Officials say the plan will allow the university system to admit an 18,000 additional students and is expected to raise about $30 million annually.
Los Angeles Times (Date posted: November 8, 2012)
FL: Governor Scott voices opposition to higher tuition levels
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and the state's Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform met with the Florida Board of Governors Wednesday to discuss plans to overhaul state higher education policies. While no action took place at the meeting, Gov. Scott stated that he does not support plans to allow tuition increases of up to 15 percent a year until the state reaches the national average. Scott's budget does not recommend cuts to higher education, but his stance on higher education financing remains at odds with state lawmakers. The task force will release its report later this year.
The Sun-Sentinel (Date posted: November 8, 2012)
RI: Board endorses tuition freeze at public higher education institutions
The Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education voted this week to freeze tuition and fees at the state’s three public higher education institutions for the upcoming academic year. In-state tuition at the University of Rhode Island remain at $12,400 next year, while tuition and fees at Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island will remain at $7,602 and $3,905, respectively.
Associated Press (Date posted: November 6, 2012)