At its meeting of February 2, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District Board of Trustees approved resolutions in support of the four propositions on the March 2 primary ballot:
• Proposition 55, the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2004, which would provide $12.3 billion in construction and renovation funds, including $17 million for Foothill and De Anza.
• Proposition 56, known as the Budget Accountability Act, which would permit the legislature to approve the state budget with a 55 percent rather than a two-thirds vote; provide incentives for lawmakers to progress with work on the budget, including withholding salary and expenses from the governor and the legislature if the budget is not passed and signed by the constitutional deadline; and provide for a “rainy day” reserve fund of five percent to be established in good years to cushion the state from severe cuts in a bad economy, among other provisions.
• Proposition 57, the Economic Recovery Bond Act, which would provide for the issuance of $15 billion in bonds to pay off the state's general fund deficit.
• Proposition 58, the Balanced Budget Act, which would require that state budget general fund expenditures not exceed estimated general fund revenues; allows the governor to proclaim a fiscal emergency in specified circumstances and submit proposed legislation to address the fiscal emergency; establishes a budget reserve; and prohibits future deficit bonds after that provided for in Proposition 57. Proposition 58 must be approved in order for Proposition 57 bonds to be issued.
Trustees emphasized that Proposition 57 is a far from ideal solution to the state's short- and long-term budget challenges, but that they will support it in light of the drastic reductions to community colleges that will result without voter approval of the bond. The Community College League of California (CCLC) estimates that without the bond, community college funding would be reduced by a devastating $500 million, resulting in the loss of funding for 250,000 students in addition to the 175,000 students already projected to be lost in the current year, for a total of 425,000 students losing access to education.
For nonpartisan information about the bond measures, see http://www.smartvoter.org/2004/03/02/ca/state/prop/.
Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees Prop 55 Resolution (pdf)
Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees Prop 56 Resolution (pdf)
Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees Prop 57 Resolution (pdf)
Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees Prop 58 Resolution (pdf)
The California Community Colleges Board of Governors has approved resolutions in support of Propositions 57 and 58. Click here for more information:
News Release: BOG Supports Props 57 and 58 (pdf)