President Reveley's budget message

President Taylor Reveley sent the following message to the William & Mary community on Feb. 23, 2010 - Ed.

Dear William & Mary Community,
 
Last Sunday the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees presented their separate amendments to the budget proposed last December by former Governor Kaine for the 2010-12 biennium.  Sam Jones's comparison of the House and Senate amendments follows this message.  As Sam's memo makes clear, very little is settled as yet.   On the whole, however, it appears that higher education has emerged somewhat better than might have been expected as the House and Senate scrambled to deal with an enormous shortfall in state revenues.  I'll report again once we know more.
 
Taylor Reveley
 
 

MEMORANDUM

TO:                  W. Taylor Reveley, III
                        Michael R. Halleran

FROM:            Samuel E. Jones

SUBJECT:      House and Senate Budget Actions

Yesterday the House Appropriations and Senate Finance committees approved amendments to the Commonwealth's 2010-12 operating and capital budgets as introduced by out-going Governor Timothy Kaine.  Key elements of the committees' respective budget recommendations relating to the College include the following:

  • Faculty and Staff Salaries-No funds are included to support base increases in faculty and staff salary in the 2010-12 biennium. Subject to available funds, both the House and Senate recommend a 3% salary bonus in December, 2011.

  • Furlough Days-The House eliminates all proposed furlough days including the single furlough day proposed by Governor Kaine for this year. It appears the Senate recommendations include up to 3 furlough days in each of the next two years. Senate action on the current year furlough day is unclear.
 
  • Retirement and Other Benefits- For current employees, House recommendations eliminate the proposed 1%/2% employee contribution to the Virginia Retirement System or optional retirement plans and restore the cash match retirement program. Senate recommendations retain the 1%/2% employee match for both programs as proposed by Governor Kaine and eliminate the cash match program.

  • Operating Budget Reductions-The House recommends no further higher education reductions beyond those included in the introduced budget. However, it does shift funding among the institutions based on each institution's percentage of base guidelines and perceived tuition flexibility. As a result, main campus funding would be reduced an additional $1.5 million in FY 2012 while VIMS would have $1.8 million restored to its budget. The Senate recommends no further reductions and accepts institutional level reductions as included in the introduced budget.

  • Federal Stimulus Funds-Both House and Senate recommend a one-time allocation of $6.9 million in federal stimulus funds to the main campus in FY 2011. In addition to these funds, VIMS would receive $1.5 million under the House recommendations and $3.1 million under the Senate recommendations. These funds are "intended to mitigate the general fund reductions to the institution, moderate the level of tuition and fee increases, encourage increased student access, and allow the institution to manage its total funding across the biennium".

  • Eminent Scholars-The House eliminates all state matching funds associated with the eminent scholars program. Since these funds are built into the College's salary pool, this loss of state support will have to be offset with other revenues. The Senate takes no action on this item.

  • Auxiliary Fund Balances-Both the House and Senate reject Governor Kaine's recommended 5% transfer of each institution's auxiliary enterprise fund balance to the state general fund.
 
  • Tuition and Fee Policy-The House and Senate place no limits on Board of Visitors authority to set tuition as necessary. This action recognizes the need for institutions to have maximum flexibility in responding to reduced state support, The Senate does recommend a $2.50 per in-state credit hour capital fee to partially support the state's debt service on academic facilities. This fee already has been in place for out-of-state students for several years.
 
  • Student Financial Aid-No funding change to the introduced budget.

  • Percentage of In-State/Out-of-State Undergraduates-No recommended changes to existing policy.

  • Capital Projects-The House funds the renovation of Tucker Hall using funds saved from previously authorized capital projects across the Commonwealth. Both the House and Senate recommend the requested scope change for the College's utility infrastructure project. In addition, the House authorizes the College's share of this project, allowing it to remain on schedule.

Additional detail regarding the House and Senate budget recommendations will be available over the next few days.

From this point, the respective committee recommendations must be approved by the House of Delegates and Senate, respectively.  After approval the budget will go to conference committee for reconciliation.
 
I will keep you informed as we learn more.  Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this initial summary.