Last week, when deflated revenue projections were announced, the prevailing opinion was that leaving Santa Fe with the same amount of money you came in with would be considered a victory. For higher education, 2016 will not be a winning season.
House Appropriations and Finance has rolled out HB 2, the state budget bill, for review, comment and clean up. The HAFC version of the budget “reduces all higher education line items except special schools by 0.4 percent.” This shaving of higher education funding amounts to $3.4 million that can shore up other sections of the state budget. UNM and the HSC together contribute about a third of that amount and would take home fewer dollars ($1.39 million) than what they arrived with a couple of weeks ago.
Higher education leaders are given the flexibility to deal with the cuts as they see fit. There is no provision for a compensation increase.
House Appropriations is scheduled to vote on HB 2 Thursday. From there, this bill journeys to the full house and then it is on to Senate Finance and the potential for even more change.