Lawmakers resist Newsom proposal to delay student housing funds
State lawmakers in California are at odds with Gov. Gavin Newsom over his plan to delay funding for student housing projects at colleges and universities across the state.
Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, who chairs the budget subcommittee focused on education finance, said during a hearing on Tuesday that funding those campus housing projects is a priority for the Legislature and that lawmakers don’t intend to delay the spending.
In his January budget proposal for 2023-24, Newsom proposed delaying $250 million of anticipated funding that would support the construction of affordable housing projects across California’s public higher education systems. He also suggested delaying the creation of a statewide loan program that would provide $1.8 billion to the colleges in the form of interest-free loans to support housing projects.
“But this is not an area that we’re going to focus on cutting,” said McCarty. “We will look for other alternatives through other places in the budget. This is such a priority for the Senate and the Assembly.”
Newsom proposed the delays to help deal with the state’s projected $22.5 billion deficit.
The issue promises to be a difficult one as the Democratic-controlled Legislature and the Democratic governor hash out next year’s state spending plan over the next three months.