Refund wins approval with students

In California during the 2012 November election, Proposition 30 passed with 55.3 percent of the vote.

Proposition 30, titled a Sales and Income Tax Increase Initiative, was developed by Gov. Jerry Brown in an attempt to help California climb out of debt. A key element of Proposition 30 was that it would increase the state’s sales tax from 7.25 percent to 7.5 percent.

The California State University (CSU) had hoped the proposition would pass. With passage, CSU campuses would be able to roll back tuition increases to 2011-2012 rates. This would result in a $249 per student refund.  This is meant to reimburse the tuition increase made at the beginning of the 2012-2013 year.

Sean Kiernan, Associated Students, Inc. vice president for external affairs and California Democratic Party delegate, explains how the CSU was able to make the refunds an effect of Proposition 30.

“The state government offered to pay the CSU the revenue that it was getting from the previous 90 percent tuition increase,” Kiernan said, “and the Board of Trustees decided to say ‘yes’ to the contingency if Prop. 30 passed.”

It did pass by 10.6 percent of the vote, and schools began issuing the refunds. According to the university website, all refunds for Fresno State students were processed no later than Dec. 21, 2012.

Some students, such as Steve Baca, a senior communicative disorders-speech pathology major, are a little suspect of the proposition’s passing.

“I agree with the passing of Prop. 30, if our elected officials actually do what they said they [will] and use all appropriate funds from the prop to fund education, and education only,” Baca said. “For too long our education system has been low on the list of priorities for this state, with prisons and other nonsense taking up a bulk of the budget.”

A large concern for many students was the refund, that turned out not to be as easy to obtain as anticipated. Baca, for example, was left out of the refund.

“For reasons unknown to me, I didn’t get a refund based on the passage of Prop. 30,” Baca said. “Had I, it would have gone straight to pay off my credit debt.

Jaime Navarro, a senior international business major, did not receive a refund, because he has originally received a Cal Grant.

“Cal Grant reimbursements don’t qualify for the refund,” Navarro said. “So they just end up sending it back to the state, because I didn’t get anything.”

Even though he did not receive money, he is still for Proposition 30, because he has friends that have been helped by the refund.

Jeanette Valle, a junior psychology major, felt much the same way. She also has a Cal Grant and did not know that she would not be receiving a refund when the proposition passed. She said even if she had known, it would not have changed her feelings.

“No, it wouldn’t have changed how I voted,” Valle said, “because I have some friends it helped out.”