Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2020-21 state budget, released Friday, includes a 5% increase of $199 million for the CSU with no student tuition hikes. The preliminary budget will be the basis for numerous budget hearings in the Assembly and Senate, with a final 2020-21 state budget approved by June 15. As CSUEU begins new contract negotiations, we should not forget last year’s troubling and highly critical CSUEU-sponsored state audit. The state auditor concluded the CSU failed to disclose a $1.5 billion hidden surplus of discretionary funds that could be used for any ongoing CSU operational costs. Despite its growing surplus, the CSU continued to lobby state legislators for more state funds, while falsely claiming that without further budget increases, or increases in student tuition, the CSU would be unable to maintain its programs. The $1.5 billion in discretionary monies is part of an overall $4 billion CSU budget surplus held in investment accounts outside of the State Treasury, with minimal oversight or accountability. Click here for campus surpluses. “CSU Support Staff are the backbone of this institution and for far too long, our members have been left behind,” said CSUEU President Neil Jacklin. “We have full support from both the Governor and the Lt. Governor as well as legislators from both parties who have explicitly told the CSU an investment in its employees is an investment in the institute’s future.” Multiple state audits in recent years, at the urging of CSUEU, have shown that CSU Management consistently fails to act in the best interest of students, staff and our community. From ignoring campus health and safety violations to overcompensating top executives (see previous audits here https://www.csueu.org/advocacy ) it is very clear that stronger oversight of CSU fiscal management is needed. We appreciate Gov. Newsom’s commitment to higher education – and all that it takes to keep the state’s public university system thriving.