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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Senate: Cuts for universities

    PHOENIX – The state Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday passed a bill that cuts more than $26 million from the state’s three universities for the upcoming fiscal year – with cuts of more than $5.25 million to the UA.

    The bill, which proposes more than $311 million in cuts, would also cut $875,000 from the Arizona Board of Regents. It would also require certain funds, such as the special education fund and the Board of Cosmetology fund, to transfer money to the state.

    The cuts are being proposed to balance a budget shortfall of more than $1 billion.

    Some of the money lost, including the UA’s entire share, was to be used on planning for the biomedical campus in Phoenix, said UA lobbyist Greg Fahey.

    Even though the UA was already aware of the $5.25 million cut, which is basically money the university will be giving back to the state, the big issue will be fiscal year 2008-2009, the cuts for which legislators are still debating, Fahey said.

    UA President Robert Shelton wrote in an e-mail yesterday afternoon that although he hasn’t seen the exact details of the bill, any cuts would be detrimental to the university.

    He added that he will “”try to minimize the impact on our academic programs”” during the next fiscal year, but that his main concern is 2008-2009.

    Sen. Bob Burns, R-Peoria, who proposed the bill as an amendment, said the universities should be prepared for cuts for ’09-’10.

    The state’s current deficit is about $1.37 billion, he said, and $300 million in cuts “”doesn’t quite get you to $1 billion.””

    “”We still have a very serious problem,”” he said.

    Another cut of $14.7 million to the entire university system will be decided by the Board of Regents and will be discussed at the board’s meeting next week on the UA campus.

    Burns’ bill passed on a 7-4 vote and will now go to the governor’s desk for approval.

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