Bond bill passes Assembly test

A 71-6 vote last Thursday by the state Assembly has brought UC Davis one step closer to financing some key campus facilities and has paved the way for billions of dollars in funding for UC overall.

Two days before the vote hundreds of UC alumni had met with lawmakers at the C apitol, airing issues of concern to the university. On Thursday their efforts seemed to pay off, as AB 16 garnered five votes beyond what was needed for its passage.

A kindergarten-through-university bond, the bill would place a $13.05 billion bond measure on the November 2002 ballot and a $12 billion bond on the March 2004 ballot. Each bond would provide $2.3 billion for higher education.

UC and California State University each would be allocated 30 percent of the bond funds dedicated for higher education; the remaining 40 percent would be earmarked for California community colleges.

"Bottom line, under this bill, UC would receive approximately $345 million per year, for four years - assuming the passage of both bond measures," said Brad Hayward, a UCOP spokesman.

The measure also authorizes $279 million in lease-revenue bonds for seven facilities projects at UC, including $66 million needed to build Vet Med 3A on campus.

The meaure provides state funding for the single most important project in the re-building of the School of Veterinary Medicine facilities, said Matthew Hargrove, director of government relations at UC Davis.

The bond also provides the state's $33 million contribution to build the Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science on campus.

The measure now goes for approval before the Senate, which is on spring recess with the Assembly until Monday.

Hargrove and his colleagues lauded the work done by volunteers in touting the measure on UC Day.

"I can tell (legislators) several times that facilities on campus are old and in need of repair," said Steve Arditti, UC's assistant vice president and director for state government relations. "But having it personalized and hearing it once directly from a recent graduate may have much more impact."

Local Assemblymembers Helen Thomson, D-Davis; Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks; Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento; and Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, supported the measure.

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