This Week in Richmond…

Posted: January 22, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

This weekly column, written by Thomas Hennessey, chief of staff to President Alan Merten, is published to keep the university community informed on the budget situation in Richmond, and how those developments directly affect George Mason. The column appears every Wednesday in the Daily Gazette.

The first full week of the 2003 General Assembly saw the pace increase. The short, 46-day session allows little time for the members of the General Assembly to spend on the many bills submitted. George Mason University submitted four General Fund amendments to the governor’s budget: additional funding for student financial aid, additional funding for enrollment increases, operating funds for Academic IV (Innovation Hall), and equipment for Prince William IIIA. Del. Vincent Callahan is the sponsor in the House, while Sen. Charles Colgan is the Senate sponsor of the amendments.

Among the bills submitted that are being closely watched are those that have been killed in committee, such as HB 1513 (Elimination of Tenure) and those that remain in committee: HB 1562 (Admission of Illegal Aliens), HB 1891 (Higher Education Reduction in Force), HB 2030 (Vegetation Buffer Zones for Higher Education), HB 2339 (In-State Tuition for Aliens), SB 753 (Eligibility for In-State Tuition), and SB 1110 (VA Exemplary Academic Performance Admission Program).

The initial impression is that there will be no increases in funding for state programs. What is likely to happen, and there are budget amendments that propose it, is that funding will be shifted from one program to another.

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