This has been an interesting week in Lansing, where I continue to work with other university presidents to prevent the passage of a bill permitting community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees. The good news here is that our efforts, centered on a pledge by all 15 public universities to work with community colleges to meet these needs, is meeting with a positive response. The bill, passage of which in the House seemed a foregone conclusion earlier this spring, now appears delayed at least through the summer.Check back for more items from the desk of the president here on the Ferris State University Blog.
It was while we were meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop that we learned the United States Senate had not passed the bill extending jobless benefits and providing additional stimulus dollars for states to deal with Medicaid costs. The proposed state budget for Michigan in both our House and Senate was predicated on $514 million from this bill, which has now not been approved. It is uncertain at this time what the next steps in Washington will be: passage of a bill with similar support, a new bill with reduced support, or no bill. Given the growing concerns about the size of national deficit, less support and more reductions at the state level seem likely.
It is now a near certainty that passage of the state budget will be delayed, perhaps until September. The legislature is not scheduled to meet the first two weeks of July and then only Wednesdays for the remainder of the month.
The August primaries will then be upon us and strong action on the budget is unlikely until later.
I will continue to update you as more information is available.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
From The President's Desk: State Budget Issues
Here is a note from President Dave Eisler to Ferris State University: