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Friday, Feb 3, 2023
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Letters



There Is No Free Lunch


Editor:

On Feb. 5, Californians will be asked to vote on a measure that purports to improve our state’s community colleges , Proposition 92.

While we all support community colleges and the important role they play in educating Californians, it is important to consider the details of Proposition 92 before we cast our ballots for or against the measure.

First of all, it is important to understand that Proposition 92 would amend California’s constitution to lock in a huge new state funding mandate for community colleges with no way to pay for it.

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As we read headlines regularly about our state’s climbing budget deficit, it is difficult to understand how we could pass a measure that the California Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates will cost us nearly a billion dollars in the first three years.

Simply stated, it would be irresponsible for us to put into our state’s Constitution a permanent funding source for one higher education system in the manner that Proposition 92 prescribes.

And, because Proposition 92 includes no way to pay for these increases, politicians would be left to decide where we will get the money.

Politicians could raise the sales tax or levy new taxes on other items, or even increase our income taxes to pay for what would be required by this measure.

If Proposition 92 passes, our already overburdened general fund would be subject to additional pressure and quite possibly Californians will see major cuts to other important programs.

Additionally, Proposition 92 expands bureaucracy, but contains no accountability or independent oversight. Proposition 92 requires no public audits and there is no mechanism that would allow us to know how the money is spent or if it will actually go to help students.

Further, while proponents claim the measure increases access to education, Proposition 92 does nothing to help low-income college students with costs, as they already have their tuition fees waived.

And for those students who are paying tuition, they are already investing in their education at one of the lowest rates of any state in the country.

It is important to consider the fact that this measure would prioritize one higher education system over others in our state.

While the business community fully understands the valuable role community colleges play, it would be unfair to make one system superior to the others in our state from a guaranteed funding perspective.

The bottom line is this: If voters increase funding and reduce existing revenue, somebody must pay.

Community colleges have a tough job and provide a valuable service. However, there is simply no free lunch. Responsible taxpayers have no choice but to vote no on 92.


Allan Zaremberg

President

California Chamber of Commerce

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Thanks From the U.S. Open


Editor:

I am writing to thank you for the great U.S. Open article in the Business Journal. (“Torrey Pines Par for the Course for U.S. Open,” Jan. 14.) We appreciate the coverage and the interest.


Mimi S. Griffin

U.S. Open Championship

Philadelphia

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