Lawmakers slash $500 million from the CSU

California’s lawmakers officially voted for devastating cuts to public higher education and other vital state services in an attempt to solve the state budget crisis.

The state legislature adopted an $84.6 billion spending plan last Thursday but put off voting on the two most controversial budget bills – one to eliminate redevelopment agencies and another to call a special election to extend taxes.

These actions solve about $14 billion of the state’s total $26.6 billion shortfall.

Lawmakers slashed $500 million each from the University of California and California State University systems, cut funding to state parks that will result in more closures, and approved a controversial measure to move some public safety responsibilities from the state to the local level.

But that may not be the end of the budget troubles for the CSU.

If Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders cannot muster enough votes to put the tax extensions on the ballot or if the ballot measure fails, the CSU could be in line for $500 million more in cuts.