KCBS In Depth: Tuition Hikes, Occupy Movement And The State Budget

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Last week’s vote by the California State University Board of Trustees to once again raise the cost of tuition for students was a blow to Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, one of six to vote against the plan, which passed by a 9-6 vote.

“In 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger invested over $750 million more in the CSU and UC systems despite a $19 billion budget deficit because he prioritized it. There are resources out there, but there’s not the political will to fund our priorities and that’s what’s lacking,” said Newsom. “There has to be a framework of more consolidation.”

KCBS Interviews Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom:

Newsom said they may have to look at consolidating some schools to better use their resources. He also said they have to be more creative in finding funding for the entire higher education system in California.

Higher education is not the only issue facing legislators in Sacramento as the Occupy protests continue around the state. But Newsom said for the most part, handling these demonstrations will be left in the hands of local officials.

“There’s no manual for this. Everyone is being selective,” Newsom said. “Many of the mayors have embraced the movement. But what happens when we have absolutely nothing in common with their movement. It’s an extremist movement of a different type. This story has yet to be written even after this movement begins to dissipate.”

Newsom said that it is a very slippery slope for local officials on how to handle the ongoing protests and encampments and that residents have a right to question not only their tactics, but also their decisions on how they are reacting to the Occupy movement.

Newsom said that the Occupy movement is a reflection of what is going on not only across the nation, but in the state as well. He said the protesters have alerted them to a “code red” on the economic and societal problems facing the state right now and that the only way to change things is to come up with a comprehensive plan of action.

You can hear KCBS In Depth, a weekly half-hour news interview, Saturdays at 5:30a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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