Senate drops DSU library fundingBISMARCK — An effort to secure state funding for the Theodore Roosevelt Resource Center failed to get enough support from legislators this week. During discussion of the state’s higher education budget, Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, tried to add $10.6 million to House Bill 1003 for the addition to Stoxen Library at Dickinson State University.
BISMARCK — An effort to secure state funding for the Theodore Roosevelt Resource Center failed to get enough support from legislators this week.
During discussion of the state’s higher education budget, Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, tried to add $10.6 million to House Bill 1003 for the addition to Stoxen Library at Dickinson State University.
“There’s no question that this is going to be a place where people want to come,” Wardner said of the resource center. “It’s going to be a destination. It’s not only going to be a great benefit to the city of Dickinson and Dickinson State University, but it’s going to be a great asset to the state.”
However, his amendment failed on a 5-8 vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
DSU Controller Mark Lowe said the funding could be introduced again.
“It’s certainly not over,” he said.
Earlier this week, the state’s higher education budget got a $29 million overall boost from the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The Senate’s version of the bill allocates $644.7 million for higher education for 2011-13, compared to the $615.4 million approved by the House. The governor recommended $648.2 million.
Senate Appropriations restored $6.6 million to limit tuition increases and $10 million for equity funding that the House cut.
The bill also adds $700,000 in one-time funding for DSU due to decreased revenue from oil royalties.
Production of the 15-year-old “Stadium Well” is much lower than it used to be, Lowe said.
The university had requested $750,000 for TR Center staffing and operating expenses and $350,000 for the Roughrider Scholarship Program, he said.
The university has yet to get details on what the money would be allocated for, Lowe said Tuesday afternoon.
In other changes to the higher education budget, the Senate nixed $8.2 million for the Old Main project at the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. It adds $10.5 million for the Rhoades Science Center at Valley City State University.
The Senate’s version provides North Dakota State University with authority to use previous funding for a Minard Hall project. It also provides revenue bonding authorization for a portion of the University of North Dakota flight operations center project.
The bill requests a legislative study of UND’s medical school to review its ability to meet the health care needs of the state. This would include studying the feasibility of expanding the medical school.
Also included is a study of college programs that address workforce needs in the state, including a review of using graduated tuition rates to increase enrollment in these programs.
Appropriations Chairman Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, said the Senate’s proposal is an 8.7 percent general fund increase from last biennium, or an additional $51 million.
The Senate’s version of the bill includes $597 million for ongoing expenses and $48 million in one-time funding and major building projects, he said.
The budget will now go before the entire Senate for approval. If the House disagrees with the Senate changes, the bill will go to a conference committee where the House and Senate will work out their differences over the budget.
Press Editor Jennifer McBride contributed to this story.
Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications Co.