This Week in Richmond

Posted: January 29, 2004 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 legislative situation in Richmond and how those developments directly affect George Mason.

Legislative work in the General Assembly is rapidly approaching its peak activity as committees and subcommittees consider introduced legislation. A half dozen administrative bills that have unintended adverse consequences for higher education have been introduced. Representatives of all four-year institutions are working with patrons and committee members to either amend or defeat the most egregious.

The House Appropriations Committee and Senate Finance Committee have accepted amendments to the budget for George Mason University. Among the most important are those that seek additional support for past and current enrollment growth and operating funds for new buildings on multiple campuses. All institutions support three major funding initiatives in the General Assembly and have conveyed to the chairman of the Appropriations Committee and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee the desperate need for additional student financial aid, faculty salary increases, and funding for all schools at minimally satisfactory levels as previously determined by the General Assembly. Absent significant revenue increases, any additional funding for George Mason or higher education appears unlikely.

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