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U.C. Merced Victim Of Budget Compromise

The Legislature has delayed the opening of the University of California campus in Merced as part of the budget compromise.

The Assembly approved a budget yesterday that pushes back the opening of the San Joaquin Valley campus until August 2005. The budget cuts $4 million from the project, but still includes $10 million for operational expenses.

Lawmakers also included a little more than $7 million in start-up funding. U.C. Merced officials say they´re saddened at the delay, but are thankful funds were approved to keep the project moving.

Tracy Assemblywoman Barbara Matthews says she voted to delay the opening because approving a budget was mandatory. Matthews says she is working to restore the money. Davis has yet to sign the proposed state budget.