Last Friday, Governor McDonnell presented his proposed amendments to the Commonwealth’s 2010-12 budget at a joint meeting of the House Finance, House Appropriations, and Senate Finance Committees of the Virginia General Assembly. The General Assembly will act on his recommendations when it meets early next year. Let me highlight two aspects of the Governor's proposals, as best we now understand them.
First, the Governor has not recommended any new state funding reductions for William & Mary. In FY 2012 the College must still deal with a $6.8 million state cut legislated in 2010 and possibly our share of an as yet unallocated $10 million reduction in higher education funding also legislated last spring. Earlier this fall, the Governor directed all state agencies and institutions to prepare plans for new reductions up to six percent beyond those in the existing budget. These cuts did not come to pass for William & Mary, though they did for some state agencies. Last Friday, the Governor also recommended $50 million in new funds for higher education, to be competitively awarded for student financial aid and for steps to increase student enrollment, retention, and graduation.
Second, to help deal with severe underfunding of the Virginia Retirement System in years past, the Governor recommended that all VRS participants be required to begin paying five percent toward their retirement on July 1, 2011. The Governor also proposed that the state’s contribution to optional retirement plans be reduced from 10.4 percent to 8.5 percent. To partially offset the impact on employees in the VRS, the Governor recommended a 3 percent salary increase for them on July 1, 2011. He proposed no increase for participants in the optional retirement plan. And the Governor recommended a 2 percent bonus for all salaried employees (VRS and ORP participants) in December 2011, contingent on state revenues exceeding projections
We will continue to review the Governor’s budget proposals. Needless to say, we will be quite active when the General Assembly convenes in January 2011.
William & Mary's holiday interlude is imminent. I do hope yours proves to be meaningful and fun.