This week Governor Newsom announced that he has agreed with both the state Assembly and Senate to restore the $299 million that was cut from CSU budgets last year. This announcement was announced along with a $9 billion relief package for California. As planning for Fall 2021 continues, and as the state looks to finalize the budget by May 2021, this restoration is a real win for the CSU system and specifically for our campus.
At the regional level, policy issues are currently focused on vaccinations and reducing social restrictions where possible, as many challenges continue to lie ahead for regional businesses and workers. At the federal level, another fiscal stimulus package, including an extension of unemployment benefits and assistance payments to lower-income households, should be coming soon.
In my new role as interim associate vice president for government and regional relations, I interact with lawmakers in SSU’s service area, Sacramento and in Washington D.C., as well as the CSU legislative team. As SSU works to expand and nurture its integration within our service-area, part of that interaction is staying abreast of policy issues that may affect our campus and students regardless of where they live.
This month a group of us from SSU including President Sakaki, VP Jerlena Griffin-Desta, and three students met with our state legislators as part of the annual CSU’s Budget Advocacy event. Our students shared their stories, especially their experiences with the pandemic, and helped our efforts immensely in connecting with our regional lawmakers as we focused on the restoration of the recent budget cuts and the potential of one-time money for infrastructure.