Gov. Bill Ritter today submitted his budget proposal for the 2010-11 fiscal year to the legislatureís Joint Budget Committee, which addresses an additional $1.02 billion shortfall in the stateís budget.
A $2 billion shortfall already has been addressed in this fiscal year, with higher educationís funding set at $706 million, of which $377 million is one-time stimulus money and $329 million is from the General Fund.
In response, on Thursday, Nov. 19 Metro State President Stephen Jordan will hold a town hall meeting to discuss the impact on Metro State. The meeting will be held from 8:30-10 a.m. in the King Center Concert Hall. Coffee and juice will be offered at 8:30 a.m.; Jordan will speak at 9 a.m.
Ritter proposes that higher educationís funding for the 2010-11 fiscal year be $650 million: $95 million in one-time federal stimulus dollars and $555 million from the General Fund. This is $56 million less in stimulus funds than had been planned originally.
Ritter is proposing that in 2010-11 tuition rates for resident undergraduates can be increased up to 9 percent over the previous year. He did not put any limit on nonresident or graduate-level tuition. Tuition rates will be set by the higher education governing boards within these parameters. Ritter estimates that this will result in $80 million in cash revenue for all of higher education and will help offset some of the $56 million reduction in stimulus money. At the same time, he says that Pell Grant increases will help offset tuition increases for eligible students.
For the 2011-12 fiscal year, Ritter is proposing $555 million from the General Fund for higher education, which is the 2005-06 funding level. There will be no stimulus dollars available. He has not made any recommendations for tuition increases in 2011-12, and he added that economic conditions could affect the General Fund amount.Ritterís budget proposal also includes a provision that requires employees participating in PERA increase their PERA contribution by 2.5 percent for one year and reduces the state contribution by a corresponding amount, for a General Fund savings of $20.1 million. To implement this recommendation, a statutory change would be necessary.
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