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UC Tuition Freeze Hinges On Brown's California Tax Initiative

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - The University of California Regents on Wednesday voted to endorse the governor's tax plan, and contingent on its passing, to freeze next year's undergraduate tuition costs, as well as put into place fee increases for professional programs system-wide.

Wednesday's meeting, held at the University of California at San Francisco Mission Bay campus, began around 8:30 a.m. and continued past 5 p.m.

The board, in a 25-1 vote, endorsed Gov. Brown's tax proposal and supported a one-year tuition freeze if the tax measure, Proposition 30, passes in November.

Brown's initiative would increase the state's sales tax and income tax on California's highest earners.

If the ballot measure passes on Nov. 6, the UC system will receive $125 million in funding from the state, enabling it to stave off tuition increases. If it fails, the board could vote to increase tuition for undergrads by more than 20 percent to cover a mid-year $250 million shortfall.

KCBS' Holly Quan Reports:

According to the UC, each student would face a mid-year tuition increase of up to $2,400.

The board also voted to increase fees for as many as 57 professional programs at UC campuses in a 24-2 vote.

Regents Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Jonathan Stein, the board's student regent, voted against the motion to increase professional school tuition rates through a multi-year plan.

Protesters dressed as zombies interrupted the start of Wednesday's session, and even broke out singing and dancing to Michael Jackson's 1982 hit "Thriller."

The group of students, UC workers and community members urged the Regents to endorse the governor's tax initiative to ensure a tuition freeze for undergraduates next year and pull back from any fee hikes for professional students in programs that include business and nursing.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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