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    Governor Schwarzenegger Visits CSULB

    (August 29, 2006) -- Selecting a venue at which he appeared as a challenger to incumbency nearly three years ago, now-incumbent CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (seeking reelection in November) visited CSULB on Aug. 29

    Photo: CA Governor's website

    The Governor touted a budget that (in the words of a release from the Governor's office) "invests more than $19 billion into higher education, freezes fees at UC and CSU campuses and keeps California Community College fees the lowest in the nation."

    [begin release text]

    "By buying out proposed fee increases, we have made the dream of college more affordable for students and their families,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “My fiscal policies—holding the line against taxes, improving the business climate, restoring the state’s credit rating, funding the rainy day reserve and paying down billions in debt—has fostered the environment that has allowed the state’s economy to prosper. As a result, students no longer have to carry a heavier burden because of California’s bad spending habits.”

    Photo: CA Governor's website
    The Governor visited students on the first day of their “Introduction to American Government” class. The Governor congratulated the freshman class for pursuing higher education and talked about his commitment to public universities.

    “I have always said that an investment in our students is an investment in our future. That’s why I am proud of the historic levels of funding for higher education, which helps students succeed and contributes billions to California’s economy,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

    The current budget includes $4 billion in total funding ($2.8 billion General Fund) for California State Universities. General Fund spending for California State Universities increased by more than 7 percent over last year. The budget includes:

    • $75.7 million increase (3 percent) for basic budget support.

    • $61.3 million (2.5 percent) for enrollment growth.

    • $2 million to provide funding on a one-time basis for start-up costs associated with the expansion of undergraduate nursing programs.
    • $371,000 to fund a student expansion of undergraduate nursing enrollments.

    • $1.1 million to expand the Science and Math Teacher Initiative.

    The budget also increases funding for student financial assistance:

    • $38.8 million net increase in the Cal Grant Program.

    • $11.9 million to increase the maximum Cal Grant for new recipients at private colleges and universities from $8,322 to $9,708.

    • $6.8 million for growth in the Assumption Program of Loans for Education (APLE). [end release text]

    The CSULB visit comes one day after Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2582, a bill authored by Assemblyman Leland Yee -- a San Francisco Democrat -- to enhance freedom of speech protections for college students.

    "Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of our democracy. Students working on college newspapers deserve the same rights afforded to every other student journalist, the Governor said in a release.

    The bill extends the samelevel of protection fro censorship to college level papers as provided to CA high school student newspapers. (The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2007 and eliminates some uncertainty on the matter created by a recent appeals court ruling).

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