General Assembly update| February 9, 2011
William & Mary President Taylor Reveley sent the following message to the campus community on Feb. 9 - Ed.
Dear William & Mary Community,
Last Sunday, the House Appropriations Committee of the Virginia General Assembly and the Senate Finance Committee presented competing amendments to the 2010-12 biennial budget adopted last year. The Governor offered his amendments last December. Sam Jones's summary of the House and Senate amendments is attached. As Sam's memo makes clear, a lot remains to be decided. Since the General Assembly adjourns at the end of this month, more will be known soon. I'll report when it is.
TO: President Reveley
FROM: Sam Jones
SUBJECT: General Assembly Budget Actions
Yesterday the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees approved their respective amendments to the Commonwealth’s 2010-12 operating and capital budgets. While we continue to review their recommendations, I would highlight the following items:
Salary Actions/VRS contributions—Governor McDonnell recommended all VRS employees contribute 5% toward their retirement with the impact on net pay being offset by a 3% base salary increase and a potential 2% bonus. The House accepts the 5% employee contribution but offsets the impact on net pay with a 5% base salary increase for VRS employees, both of which would occur July 1, 2011. The Senate rejects the Governor’s recommendation. As a result, if the Senate recommendation is accepted there will be no requirement that VRS employees contribute to their retirement nor will there be any salary increase provided for FY 2012.
ORP Contribution Rate—Governor McDonnell recommended that the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) contribution rate be reduced from 10.4% to 8.5%. Both the House and Senate reject this recommendation, leaving the State’s contribution rate at 10.4%
Operating Budget Reduction—While not recommending any additional budget reductions for FY 2012, Governor McDonnell left intact the previously authorized but undistributed $10 million reduction to higher education institutions. The House leaves this $10 million reduction in place, but the Senate eliminates it. If this cut ends up being required, neither the Governor nor the General Assembly has said what the College’s share would be.
Funding in support of the Recommendations of the Governor’s Higher Education Commission—Governor McDonnell placed $50 million in a central pool to support implementation of Higher Education Commission recommendations. Both the House and Senate eliminate this pool of funds in favor of specific institutional allocations consistent with the recommendations of the Commission. With this approach, the College would receive $1,257,000 under the House recommendations and $573,492 under the Senate. The House also provides a separate $340,000 allocation in support of additional in-state enrollment at the College while the Senate provides $106,830 in financial aid for low- and middle-income students.
Virginia Institute of Marine Science—The House recommends $475,000 to support additional STEM-related faculty positions at VIMS and $142,500 for the operation and maintenance of new facilities. The Senate recommends $65,194 for the operation and maintenance of new facilities.
Capital Outlay—Both the House and Senate add the renovation of Tyler Hall to the Commonwealth’s list of capital projects to be funded as debt capacity comes available over the next several years. The Senate also adds the Brafferton renovation to the list.
The next step in the process is for consideration of these recommendations by the full House and Senate, respectively. After each house acts, the budget will then go to a conference committee to hammer out agreement.