TO THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY
A key issue on the March 2, 2004, ballot is Proposition 55, a bond measure that would provide funding for education facilities throughout California. While the media coverage has focused on how Proposition 55 would help ease overcrowding and make overdue safety repairs in California’s K-12 public schools, it is important to remember that the bond would also benefit higher education, including the University of California and UC Santa Barbara.
The March 2004 Bond Act would authorize $10 billion for K-12 and $2.3 billion for higher education. The UC system would use the $688 million in allocated Prop 55 funds to help accommodate a surge of approximately 63,000 additional students expected by 2010. This is greater than the current enrollments of UC Berkeley and UCLA combined. The UC Regents have endorsed Prop 55, as the bond would allocate funds to build classrooms and modernize research facilities that help create jobs and grow California's economy.
At UC Santa Barbara, Proposition 55 would fund nearly $69 million for several projects, including the Psychology Building addition and renewal, the Biological Sciences buildings renovation, the Education and Social Sciences buildings, the Snidecor Hall office wing seismic replacement, the Davidson Library addition, and electrical infrastructure renewals throughout the campus.
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 55 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 55 include State Senator Rico Oller, First Senate District, National Tax Limitation Committee and 60-Plus Association.
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 listed below to learn more about Proposition 55.
Henry T. Yang
For more information on Proposition 55, including arguments for and against the bond, please visit the following web sites:
University of California
Prop 55 supporters
Prop 55 opponents