The Golden State of California has tarnished its economic reputation with a devastating budget crisis in the wake of a very weak economy.

This November, there are several tax-raising initiatives on the ballot for the state’s citizens to consider. In “The College Conservative”, Keith Fierro of California State University, reports that a school’s student group is illegally promoting one of those measures, Proposition 30:

On September 26th, Fresno State’s Associated Students, Inc. [ASI] voted 7-6 to become the first public university to endorse California’s Proposition 30, the ballot initiative that would raise income and sales taxes to generate revenue to avoid education cuts. Fresno State College Republicans chairman Daniel Harrison, presented a petition to the ASI Senate, which had 833 signatures, opposing the body’s endorsement of Prop 30. Through a series of underhanded and partisan ploys, including ASI Executive VP Parmita Choudhury switching roles with a student senator to vote in favor of the endorsement, Fresno’s ASI chose to ignore the voices of 833 concerned students opposing the endorsement. 833 is more students than voted for all but two of the student senators in the last election.

“These signatures are irrelevant,” said Choudhury.

“It’s a shame so many senators would rather serve the partisan agenda of one executive rather than hundreds and hundreds of students,” Harrison said. “Proposition 30 is very important and it is a debate that we as a campus need to have, but let’s do it responsibly.”

If the idea of a public university endorsing a ballot initiative that is to be voted for during the November elections sounds odd to you, that’s because it’s illegal. California Education Code 7054 states that no public “services, supplies, or equipment shall be used for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure or candidate, including, but not limited to, any candidate for election to the governing board of the district.” Using taxpayer money and student fees to push for ballot measures has become an epidemic in the Cal State communities. In documents obtained by CalWatchDog, Cal State faculty are seen using school resources to push for Prop. 30 and for the defeat of Prop. 32, an initiative to restrict campaign contributions from unions and corporations.

Fierro notes that ASI will be spending student fees to print materials encouraging the students to vote for Prop 30 this November and that Fresno College Republicans are working to recall the seven senators that voted against expressed student concerns.