Be flexible and prepare for rapid change.
That will be one of the ten advocacy points I give attendees at the Future Leaders Institute tomorrow. Only a few hours after talking to the Legislature and governor’s office about the need for advocacy on “Plan A” and asking you to hit the phones, Plan B has emerged.
At this hour, Democratic leaders and the governor announced a plan to approve a majority-vote budget that gives up on Republican budget votes and a vote to extended taxes. Instead, the plan likely to be voted on tomorrow will replace a handful of the more “creative” solutions included in the Democrats’ June 15 budget with higher revenues assumed with the state’s economic recovery. If the revenues do not materialize, $2.6 billion cuts to K-12, higher education public safety and in-home supportive services would be triggered.
While details are not being shared at this point, it is likely that the community college “risk” of the lower revenues could be around $150 million, or essentially moving community colleges from Scenario A to closer to Scenario B. We’re likely to have more details later tonight or tomorrow and we’ll post them to our Twitter stream at twitter.com/ccleague.
While the deal may leave us with a signficant out-year budget problem if the revenues either don’t materialize or are one-time (such as from a series of expected tech IPOs), it is much better than any of the “all-cuts” scenarios that have been considered throughout the year. Additionally, it is expected that initiatives will be put on the ballot next year to bring the long-term budget into balance unless revenue.
Again, thank you for your advocacy. It’s certainly not a “good” budget, but one that allows us to live to fight another day.