The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California's economic and social prosperity relies on a higher education system that keeps pace with California's growth. In the coming decades, the state's economic prosperity will depend on increasing the productivity of the work force and on the ability to compete successfully in the world marketplace.
(b) The system of public higher education in this state includes the University of California, comprising nine campuses, the California State University, comprising 22 campuses, including the California Maritime Academy, a specialized institution, the California Community Colleges, consisting of 71 districts and 107 campuses, the Hastings College of the Law, and their respective off-campus centers. Each of these institutions plays a vital role in maintaining California's dominance in higher education in the United States.
(c) Over the last several years, studies have been completed by the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges to assess their long-term and short-term capital needs. Those studies demonstrate that the long-term and short-term needs total, in the aggregate, several billion dollars.
(d) The purpose of this article is to assist in meeting the capital outlay financing needs of California's public higher education system.
(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1, Sec. 1.)