(CALMATTERS) – Middle-class families will likely bear the brunt of budget cuts under an agreement reached by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature to patch the state’s $54 billion deficit, while the neediest Californians are largely spared.

A few students walk through Sproul Plaza, normally bustling with student organization tables, on March 12, 2020. UC Berkeley suspended most in-person classes beginning on Tuesday of this week due to Coronavirus concerns. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

Unless the federal government supplies billions of dollars in aid by Oct. 1, state employee salaries will be slashed by 10% and the University of California and California State University systems will take a combined $602 million hit — likely leading to an eventual tuition hike on families who don’t qualify for financial aid, CalMatters’ Laurel Rosenhall reports.

  • Audrey Dow of the Campaign for College Opportunity: “The UC and CSU are going to be forced to balance their budget on the backs of talented qualified students … at a time when families can least afford it.”

However, California’s K-12 schools and community colleges will not suffer most of the cuts Newsom proposed last month. And Calbright, the state’s online-only community college, will live to see another day despite demands from lawmakers to cut its funding entirely.

Other important takeaways:

  • Key health and social service programs were preserved, including dental benefits for Medi-Cal patients and adult day programs that help keep low-income seniors out of nursing homes.
  • Homeless programs were largely spared from cuts.
  • Gone: A proposal to expand Medi-Cal health coverage to undocumented seniors, though the state plans to do so in the future.
  • Included: A $65 million tax break for low-income undocumented workers with a child under age 6.

“This is a multiyear framework,” Newsom said Monday. “We have a lot of work to do over the next few years.”