I received an email early this morning from one of the listservs i am on. There was a link to this speech.
Budget CrisisLatest news:· $385 million less than expected for current budget cycle· Gov: “voters sent a message of an all-cuts budget” but saying no to raising taxes· $810 million less than expected for next budget cycle· Budget deficit $5.7 billion out of a $32.3 billion state budgeto Of the portion that the legislature can touch (discretionary) is $10 billion – the rest of the money is protected…UW falls into the $10 billion slice of the pie – we are looking at severe cuts· This is quite possibly the most significant budget crisis this state has ever facedLast revenue short fall was announced in September, including a 3.6% cut across the state. The next shortfall is looking at a special session in December where the legislature will work through $400 million in cuts – but it will not be across the board next time. We can expect similiar cuts to what was seen last year.Legislative Agenda
If something is not on the agenda, our lobbyist cannot bring it up so they’ve tried to make it as detailed as possible. It is a communications tool. Was put together with the Legislative Steering Committee, who discussed priorities, orders, etc. and endorsed by GPSS Executive Committee.
All of the economic issues are having a major impact on what they can lobby for – because of massive cuts, we can’t ask for more money. We will be following last year’s call – No New Cuts. Further cuts will result in larger classes, increased time to degree, fewer resources. Also, every dollar invested in UW returns more than $23 into the state’s economy. It is easier to raise tuition than taxes. Also, we will not see any stimulus money this go ‘round like we did last year.
1. Funding and quality – GPS urges the legislature to make no new cuts to higher ed. Cuts to ed should be proportional to cuts to other discretionary state programs
2. Financial Aid – GPSS urges the leg to expand financial aid funding and to support policies that ensure access for low- and middle-income students. (the state has divested in financial aid for graduate and professional students – we would like to see that change)
3. Affordability – Current “ask”: GPSS urges the leg to adopt an income-based tution model to mitigate barriers to entry for students who cannot afford to pay increasingly high tuition rates. Also: entertain motion to change to : GPSS urges leg to support a tuition policy that takes students’ ability to pay into account.
· With republican control of the house, there is an anti-spending wave coming through the House. Pledge to America – proposed cuts to research funding up to 30% which affects NSF, Department of Defense, NIH, etc. Lobbyists will explain why they should continue to fund research.We may be looking at tuition hikes for undergrads that look like what happened in the UC system. Grad tuition is not managed by legislature.