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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Senate proposes budget increase

    PHOENIX – The state Senate yesterday gave the UA a multimillion-dollar increase to its proposed budget for next year, although the increase was primarily an accounting procedure.

    The budget grew by more than $18 million, but the increase can be traced back to recent changes in state laws.

    The statewide employee pay raise signed into law by Gov. Janet Napolitano and the change in state law that exempted some students with more than 155 credits from losing state financial aid contributed to a multimillion-dollar increase.

    Despite the increase, the UA budget for next year proposed by the Republican-controlled Joint Legislative Budget Committee is smaller than the current budget.

    Greg Fahey, UA associate vice president for government relations, said the committee has recommended a slight increase for the UA budget because of higher enrollment, but a new state law removed $3 million in state funding for UA students carrying too many credits.

    A House committee approved a measure last week that drastically reduced the scope of the law, exempting students taking classes in post-baccalaureate degree programs, students pursuing two or more degrees simultaneously, university credits earned in an Arizona high school, community college credits not applied to the student’s degree program and transfer credits from a university in another state.

    The governor signed into law several weeks ago the legislation giving a $1,650 pay raise to all full-time UA employees and a secondary 2.5 percent raise for some employees depending on performance. Republicans have threatened to sue the governor over her use of a line-item veto she used when signing the bill into law, but have yet to file papers in court.

    Fahey said the budget was a starting point between the eventual budget negotiations between the Republican-controlled legislature and the Democratic governor.

    Napolitano has requested $420.5 million for the UA, while the legislature initially set aside $394 million.

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