Regents review budget proposals for FY03 For fiscal year 2003 Governor William J. Janklow has recommended a total general fund increase of 4.96 percent over the current fiscal year for all public universities and the two special schools. The South Dakota Board of Regents reviewed the governor's recommended FY03 budget at its regular business meeting Dec. 13 on the campus of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT).
"Even though projected revenues for FY03 are less than the governor's proposed budget, he has been very supportive of the statewide educational institutions," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, Aberdeen. "The governor's proposal includes an increase in base funds for the Northern State University Statewide Center for E-Learning, which was funded last year by a special appropriation. In its first semester of Operation hundreds of South Dakota high school students are taking through distance education upper-level courses that would not have been available to them without this program. It is important to fund this program, especially when revenues get tight."
Other items in the budget include:
* general funds for the additional 1 percent retirement system employer match to meet the increase effective July 1, when the contribution for both employer and employee moves from 5 percent to 6 percent of salary;
* 3 percent state salary policy; and
* funding the balance needed for a full-time carbon sequestration specialist at SDSMT.
"The Regents requested a base increase to fund an expansion of the nursing programs at South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "The actual amount we requested has not been included in the general fund appropriation bill, but the governor is recommending approval of a special appropriation to fund a five-year expansion. Under this proposal The University of South Dakota associate degree nursing satellite programs in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Watertown and Pierre would produce an additional 384 graduates during that time. The baccalaureate degree nursing program at South Dakota State University would expand for a two-year period to produce an additional 64 graduates."
The board also requested funds to address the teacher shortage in critical areas. The governor is recommending a cooperative approach with the Department of Labor instead. Grants could be available to students through the Workforce Invesment Act that would allow teacher education majors to seek second endorsements in areas identified as critical shortages.
The governor presented his proposed budget to the Legislature on Nov. 29. The Legislature will approve the state's budget in the 2002 session starting in January.