There is much to be said for working out issues ahead of time. The Senate unanimously approved the state budget this afternoon following some time outs for caucus on both sides of the aisle. There was no debate and just one out-of-order amendment that was hastily withdrawn.

Senate Finance chairman John Arthur Smith (D-Deming) said, in considering the budget that came over from House, that "we're hoping for the best but preparing for the worst." He was referring to the shadow of sequestration and its unknown consequences. So the budget features a healthy reserve of 9.7 percent.

The $5.9 billion budget also features a 3.8 percent increase for higher education and funding for a 1 percent salary increase for state, public school and higher education employees.

The budget bill will now go back to the House to see if its members will concur with Senate amendments.

This is what the budget contains for UNM, including amendments added on in House Appropriations and in Senate Finance.

• I&G; budget recommendation starts from the FY 13 operating base:
o Main Campus $179,091,600, a 3.5 percent increase
o Health Sciences Center $59,949,700, a 2.3 percent increase
• No tuition credit or tuition waivers
• ERB Swap – Employer Swap of 1.5 percent is fully funded and the increase of 0.75 percent is funded at approximately 62 percent of total salaries based on the portion paid by I&G; funds. The 0.75 percent is contingent on the passing ERB solvency legislation.
• Research and Public Service Projects:
o Main Campus $8,596,100
o Health Sciences Center $28,406,900
• No Equipment Renewal and Replacement (ER&R;)
• HAFC FY14 Agency Adjustment Consideration:
o UNM Land Grant Studies Program $100,000
o Pediatric Oncology at the UNM HSC $100,000
o For the School of Medicine I&G; $500,000
o Southwest Indian Law Clinic $37,40
Establish separate line item appropriation for the OMI and NM Poison Control
• SFC Adopted Amendments to HB2:
o UNM Minority Student Services $175,000
o UNM Manufacturing Engineering $200,000
o KNME Education Television $100,000

Susan McKinsey, Office of Government and Community Relations