Bill description: Colleges & Universities, Appropriation, Fiscal Year 2021
This is the second attempt at a budget for colleges and universities. This budget proposal is, in some ways, worse than House Bill 603, which received only 32 votes and failed on the House floor. The objections that we voiced in reviewing the earlier bill remain, administrative bloat and social justice spending.
After House member rejected House Bill 603, JFAC developed three motions. The governor’s recommendation was the most fiscally conservative of the three. Sadly, JFAC approved the highest cost budget on a narrow 11-9 vote. One would think with the rejection of House Bill 603, that JFAC would have gotten the message and stuck with the governor’s recommendation.
This budget surpasses the governor’s budget by $1.3 million, using dedicated funds as a fund shift gimmick. While slightly less than the $1.7 million of padding in House Bill 603, it still sends the wrong message to higher education. The right message is that a course correction is needed now.