The Campus Chronicle
Vol. XVII, Issue 31
for the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts
May 3, 2002

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin




House panel calls for cuts

by Daniel J. Fitzgibbons, Chronicle staff


he proposed $21.8 billion Fiscal 2003 budget released last week by the House Ways and Means Committee calls for reducing funding for public higher education by $87 million or 8 percent.

     The plan outlined by Rep. John Rogers (D-Norwood), who chairs the committee, calls for an appropriation of $434,789,000 for the university system, a reduction of $25.8 million or 5.6 percent.

     The budget plan also slashed funding for the nine state colleges by $23.8 million or 11 percent. The 15-school community college system faces a $24.3 million cut, a 10 percent reduction.

     Two separate line items for the University -- Commonwealth College and the Toxic Use Reduction Institute at the Lowell campus -- were each reduced by 5 percent from current levels or approximately $86,000 apiece in the Rogers plan.

     The Ways and Means Committee did not include any funding for the endowed faculty chair program or the library materials reserve.

     The report also recommend level-funding the Star Store project at the Dartmouth campus at $2.43 million and reduces a reserve for the Advanced Technology Center in Fall River to $816,720, some $300,000 less than current funding.

     The plan also calls for trimming scholarship programs by 18.5 percent or $17 million.

     Meanwhile, House members are considering a range of possible tax increases which could generate as much as $1 billion into state coffers.

     According to many observers, representatives are leaning towards freezing the income tax rate at 5.3 percent, boosting cigarette taxes, hiking the capital gains tax and repealing a deduction for charitable contributions.

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