DSU library funding is taken out of bill
House Bill 1003, the major higher ed bill, passed through the Appropriations Committee with a little less meat on it. The committee opted to remove the $8 million amendment proposed by Rep. Frank Wald, R-Dickinson, to fund a renovation at Dickins...
House Bill 1003, the major higher ed bill, passed through the Appropriations Committee with a little less meat on it.
The committee opted to remove the $8 million amendment proposed by Rep. Frank Wald, R-Dickinson, to fund a renovation at Dickinson State University's Stoxen Library.
Wald said it was removed for three reasons.
"It was not in the governor's budget for executive recommendations; it was not on the higher ed board's list of approved capital projects; and there was a 21.5 percent increase in the general fund for higher ed as compared to last biennium," Wald said.
He said the 21.5 percent increase amounted to more than $83 million additional dollars.
"I just simply could not convince them that an additional $8 million should be added to the budget," Wald said.
Wald said the higher ed subcommittee and the Appropriations Committee had already added more than $5 million to the total from the governor's recommendation.
"There was an awful lot of sympathy for the project," Wald said.
Although the bill has passed through the Appropriations Committee, Wald said there could be a light at the end of the tunnel as it moved over to the Senate. Wald said it's possible Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, could opt to put the amendment back in the bill.
"The lights have certainly dimmed a little bit," Wald said.
He said House Bill 1003 passed through the committee with a vote of 5-1, with Wald voting against it.
The Appropriations Committee kept the subcommittee's recommendation to have a salary increase of 4 percent each year instead of 5 percent.
"There's no appetite at this point in time to reinstate the 5 and 5 in the governor's budget," Wald said. "I think it might get some new life over in the Senate."
He said the Legislature may consider creating an equity pool for those people who are difficult to attract and keep.
"That's something that's going to be looked at," Wald said.