They keep calling it is a messy process that leaves no one totally happy. That is how the state budget is built. This afternoon, House Appropriations approved what will go into the final crafting of the general appropriations act as will be found in HB2. 

The subcommittee looking at higher education funding met for several hours on Saturday, engaging in lively debate on their particular portion of the budget. What was reported out and approved today was a higher education budget that features a 6.5 percent “carve out” or “at risk” funding to pay for outcomes-based metrics found in the funding formula. That 6.5 percent is cobbled together from approximately 0.9 percent new money (close to what the Executive recommended) and an approximate 5.7 percent adjustment to the current base. This is recurring funding.

Right now, it looks like a few small schools will see budget cuts, much to the consternation of some committee members and no doubt others in the full House. They are told this issue will be worked out in the interim … which means next summer. Also, HAFC kept reserves around 8 percent, but held back some recurring funding for the Senate to divvy up, which is always a wise move.

The HAFC is scheduled to vote on the state budget Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. The committee can now start considering some 130 bills that have back-logged on its calendar during this first month of the session.