State budget finally passed

Seggan Moore
March 4, 2009
Filed under News

The wait for the California budget to be passed is finally over.

Bakersfield College president Greg Chamberlain says that this is a good budget for BC, and the school hasn’t been cut as much as expected.

“The state recognized our role at community colleges as a part of the solution to the economic problem,” Chamberlain said.

For the 2008-2009 school year, there is no anticipation to cut any full-time employees. Some things BC students can expect are fewer summer courses, all classes filling up sooner, and more waitlists. Chamberlain suggests to make sure you have gone through the whole process of taking the admission test and seeing a counselor so you have the opportunity to register early before open enrollment begins.

Although there will be fewer courses, Chamberlain said that BC will not have fewer students.

“The CSU and UC systems will be reducing freshman admits. Because of the economy, community members have been laid off and will be coming back for job skills.”

Money from outside businesses that fund programs on campus, such as the nursing program, will continue to be granted.

“Now we get down to the work to provide services to our students,” Chamberlain said.

In the early morning hours on Feb. 19, California’s lawmakers passed the budget. The 18-month, $143 billion spending plan raises taxes and cuts spending to help the $42 billion deficit.

Constitutionally, lawmakers are supposed to pass a budget by June 15 and have it to the governor to be signed by July 1. In the last 30 years, this has happened a dozen times. The last time a budget was passed by June 15 was in 1986.

Feb. 19 also marked the Senate’s longest session to achieve the required two-thirds vote to pass the budget. The session took 45 and a half hours to decide on the vote of Republican Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria. An agreement was met with Democratic lawmakers and Maldonado, who asked for election changes, government reform and removal of increasing the gas tax, as well as freezing legislative salaries in deficit budget years.

Although the budget was officially passed, there will be a May revise that will be the final budget for the 18-month plan.

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