While voters across the nation were glued to their screens last night counting electoral votes, the higher education community was holding its breath awaiting the answers on a number of important ballot initiatives, proving this year’s election was truly about more than blue and red for higher ed.
Perhaps the most important ballot initiative passed was in California, where Proposition 30—which will raise sales tax by one cent for every $4 spent for four years and increase the income tax on the state’s wealthiest for seven years—was given a nod by 53.3 percent of the state’s voters.
“I would say more than any other state referendum involving higher education, this one will have the most immediate and positive effect,” shares Daniel J. Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
It’s a plan that Gov. Jerry Brown campaigned on two years ago, and one that will avert immediate cuts of $250 million from both the California State University and University of California systems and $300 million from the California Community Colleges System.