Governor Bill Haslam released his budget amendment Tuesday morning, cutting $160 million from his FY14-15 budget proposal and an additional $150 million in the current fiscal year.
The cuts, necessitated by an ongoing decline in state revenue collections, eliminate proposed new funding for higher education and pay raises for state employees. State employees were originally slated to receive a 1 percent salary increase this year.
No doubt troubling for higher education leaders, the amendment represents the first time since the adoption of the Complete College Tennessee Act that no new dollars will be allocated to reward outcomes achieved by Tennessee’s public colleges and universities. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) had recommended a minimum of $29.6 million in funding towards that end.
The Governor’s original budget proposed that $13 million, representing the state’s portion of a 1 percent salary increase for higher education employees, be run through the Complete College outcomes-based funding formula in lieu of THEC’s funding recommendation.
Under the proposed amendment, higher education will receive no new dollars towards employee salary increases or the outcomes-funding formula for the coming fiscal year.Tags: Budget, budget amendment, complete college tennessee act, Governor Halsam, Higher Education Funding, outcomes funding formula, state revenue, THEC