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State Universities React to House Budget Bill

February 24, 2009

With the House’s approval of a one year state budget, all of Indiana University’s campuses were granted a one percent increase in operating cash from the state. In an update delivered to IU’s trustees at a meeting in New Albany, IU’s statehouse liaison Tom Morrison said the institution’s interests have fared well so far.

“Now I would sit here any other year and be afraid to tell you that.But in this year, given the economic climate, this is something that we’re very pleased about. And pleased that the House leadership took the approach to prioritize higher education as they did K-12 education.”

Morrison went on to tell the board the House’s bill likely represents the high water mark for what the university should expect next year from the state. With next week marking the halfway point of the General Assembly’s legislative session, Morrison says IU still has little idea how much cash it will have to spend.

“We would love to stop the game at halftime. But we don’t have the ability to do that. But this is halftime and we do have a longtime to go. And in between now and the end of the session, that bill will go through the Senate. “

The Republican-controlled Senate is less likely to embrace higher education spending than the Democratically-controlled House did. Morrision says state’s latest revenue forecast is also “looming.” He says if that report, scheduled to come out in mid-April, shows revenues far below projections, the General Assembly could become much more conservative with how they spend the state’s money. But he says the stimulus package which became law this week may help.

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