Brown's proposed initiative would raise several billion dollars for education and other state services. The revenue would come from a temporary sales tax increase of a quarter-cent per dollar and from a temporary surcharge on the income tax of those who earn more than $250,000 per year. The measure still must qualify for the November ballot.
"In my view, it represents the best opportunity I've seen in my four years in California for the state to clamber out of a sinkhole of fiscal uncertainty and move forward into a better, more prosperous future," Yudof said.
"This is not just about the University of California. It is about all of California. It is about the CSU system and the community colleges. It is about health care and safe streets and parks and libraries and public schools and all the rest of it."
Yudof prefaced his remarks by noting that as UC president he strives to remain "politically agnostic," but that given the depth of California's budget travails, he felt compelled to speak to the regents about the measure's likely impact.
Yudof also told the board that he and other UC leaders continue to talk with the governor and the legislature about a multi-year funding plan that could restore some stability to UC finances. The university has been whiplashed by steep and unpredictable state funding cuts, including a 25 percent decline in 2011.
"We're not there yet. These things take time. But we are hopeful," Yudof said. "I want everybody to know that one item on the table is a potential buy-out of any tuition increase for the 2012-13 fiscal year. I am cautiously optimistic we can get there."