State Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, visited the Saint Mary's campus on Oct. 1, meeting Brother President Ronald Gallagher over dinner for a wide-ranging conversation of issues facing California. Skinner shared her thoughts on the future of Cal Grants in the upcoming 2010 state budget, saying "Cal Grants seem to be okay, for now." She cautioned that the 2011 budget situation is unknown, especially as a temporary 1 percent state sales tax increase passed earlier this year is set to expire in July 2011.
After dinner, Skinner met with several Saint Mary's students for a lively conversation on many topics, not limited to state government.
Skinner then hosted a panel on prison reform, "The Cost of Corrections: Impact on Our Communities, State Budget, and Public Safety." Panelists included Jeanne Woodford, former director of the California Department of Corrections and former warden at San Quentin Prison, and Ron Ahnen, a politics professor at Saint Mary's College.