A Message from the President
May 15, 2012 - Budget Update
As you have likely seen in recent media reports, this past Friday the Louisiana House of Representatives acted on House Bill 1, the proposed State budget for next fiscal year which begins July 1. In an unprecedented move, an amendment was added to the Bill on the floor of the House to strip from the proposed budget “one-time” funds of $268 million and to direct the Division of Administration to make a like amount of additional reductions in proposed State expenditures.
Prior to adoption of this amendment, the House Appropriations Committee had already modified the Governor’s Executive Budget to reduce proposed funding for higher education by $50 million, with an additional $21 million anticipated to be added to that reduction by the Division of Administration. Under this Appropriations Committee version of the budget, Southeastern could have expected to realize nearly $7 million in additional budget reductions next year.
Given the most recent action of the House of Representatives, Southeastern’s part of the new total proposed reduction could be $16.5 million. On top of nearly $30 million in cumulative reductions, we would have already absorbed in our State funds since 2008, the additional reductions at the level currently proposed would have a cataclysmic impact on our institution.
Fortunately, the legislative process is not yet concluded. House Bill 1 has now moved to the Louisiana Senate where significant changes in the proposed budget are anticipated. The next few weeks will be critical, as the current Legislative session must end by June 4.
As always, I will continue to advocate for the interests of our students and university and will keep the campus community apprised of any new developments.