October 31, 2002
TO THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY
A key issue on the November 5 ballot is Proposition 47, a bond measure that would provide funding for education facilities throughout California. While there has been considerable news coverage about how Proposition 47 would help ease overcrowding and make overdue safety repairs of California's K-12 schools, it is important to remember that the bond would also benefit higher education, including the University of California.
The UC system would use Proposition 47 funds to help accommodate a 40 percent enrollment increase, seismically reinforce buildings vulnerable to earthquakes, and modernize outdated infrastructure. The UC Regents have endorsed Proposition 47, saying California's educational institutions "are in urgent need of repairs, renovations, improvements and updates in classrooms, libraries, laboratories and other basic facilities if California students are to receive the education they need and deserve."
At UC Santa Barbara, Proposition 47 would fund several projects, including the planning and construction of an addition to and renewal of the Psychology Building and the seismic replacement of Snidecor Hall's office wing. Funds also would be provided for the design of renovations to biology buildings, and for the design of a new Education and Social Sciences Building. The bonds used to finance these projects would not result in a tax increase but, rather, would be repaid out of the state's General Fund over a 30-year period. This is similar to a family borrowing money from a bank to buy a home and paying off the loan over a period of 30 years.
Proposition 47 has been endorsed by the California State PTA, California Taxpayers' Association, California Chamber of Commerce, and Congress of California Seniors, among other organizations.
Opponents of Proposition 47 include the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the California Taxpayers Coalition, and the Northern California Committee for Limited Government.
Reasonable people have diverging views on this and most other election issues. I believe our state is best served when citizens consider the facts from all perspectives and then make an informed decision. I encourage voters to visit the web sites of the "yes" and "no" campaigns, or the secretary of state's web site at www.ss.ca.gov, to learn more about Proposition 47.
Henry T. Yang