Thursday, January 8, 2015

Shakedown, Throwdown

less 'ok corral' terms --replaced by others

See The Riggs Report- Brown's UC Throwdown
It's a fascinating confrontation taking shape between Governor Jerry Brown and University of California President Janet Napolitano, a former governor of Arizona. And what's at stake in this pending showdown is what some believe is a shakedown involving University of California students, their families, and the tuition they are required to pay.

Napolitano is playing budget hardball with Brown, who, with his recent landslide reelection and strong polling numbers, is enjoying a role as the dominant player in Capitol politics.

Napolitano is testing that, having engineered a vote by the Board of Regents in November to hike tuition by up to 5 percent a year over the next five years.

Over that time span, tuition could climb by more than $3,000 a year. But that tuition hike could disappear, UC leaders say, if the governor and Legislature agree to substantially increase the system's funding.

Initially I thought Brown might seek some middle ground, but the sense I get now is that he's prepared to engage in a good old-fashioned brawl, using his budget powers to leverage the University.

I expect he'll propose a modest increase in UC funding, nowhere close to the amount being sought, when he releases his spending blueprint. And he'll repeat his demands for the University to streamline operations and adopt cost-cutting measures.

If the University moves ahead with the tuition hike, the governor's ultimate weapon would be to cut UC's budget by an amount that corresponds to the dollars raised. In the end, this dispute will have to be brokered by the Legislature.

President Napolitano is facing a host of critical questions from lawmakers, not just the governor, about the 5 percent tuition hike.

What will the final deal look like? Once all the dust has settled, UC will have to...

- see the article for more.

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