Dear UC ANR Community,
Governor Newsom signed the FY 20/21 budget deal on June 29, which aims to address revenue shortfalls and expenditures due to COVID-19 while minimizing impact to the economy. Although the Governor’s budget originally included a 5% increase for UC ANR, the pandemic upended the state’s budget, making it necessary to cut funds for nearly every state agency and the University of California.
Beginning on July 1, 2020, UC ANR’s state General Funds were cut by 12.7%, which amounts to $9.22 million. However, like many other states, California is depending on Congress to backfill funding and provide assistance to states that would partially or fully restore budgets by October 15.
What does this mean for UC ANR?
Until we know more about our fiscal position for the coming year, UC ANR will be implementing strategies which will be developed thoughtfully, strategically, and with our employees and mission in mind. To allow time for the development of these strategies, and to protect programs and services for the benefit of all Californians, UC ANR initiated a hiring freeze which will be in place until further notice.
Californians need UC ANR now more than ever.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, UC ANR academics, staff, program participants and volunteers immediately sought out ways to support their local communities. Our 4-H youth across the state are sewing masks for those in need. UC Cooperative Extension advisors are helping farmers navigate a volatile marketplace so that valuable food isn’t wasted, and we have supported parents with science-based educational materials for their school-aged children. We are providing support to local health agencies and businesses with best sanitation practices, and we are providing food safety and nutrition education to the growing number of SNAP recipients. For Californians who aren’t fluent in English, we are connecting them with reliable resources in their language. For all of California’s needs, UC ANR is there.
What can you do?
We are hopeful that the hiring freeze and other cost-cutting measures will be short-lived and that Congress provides the necessary funds to minimize cuts to the University. However, we need your help.
Will you contact your Congressional representatives and ask them to support funding for UC ANR
Congress is expected to move the fourth, and possibly final, COVID-19 supplemental bill in July and they need to know what is important to their communities. Calling your congressional representatives takes less than five minutes. Would you call to support UC ANR and make your voice heard?
The next COVID-19 supplemental bill must include funding for UC:
Direct investments to states
and territories so they can respond to the virus and provide critical services. This includes funding for UC ANR (backfilling the 12.7% state reduction) as well as UC campuses and medical centers.
Additional funding for agricultural research and Cooperative Extension
to ensure that critical work continues in our labs and fields and that we continue to reach all Californians with our programs and services during COVID-19 sheltering-in-place restrictions.
Thank you for your continued support, and stay safe and healthy!