I had planned to send you an end-of-the-year legislative update earlier in the week, but held off in order to give you a more complete picture when it appeared that the Senate Finance Committee would complete its recommendation to the full Senate this week.
As you know, state appropriation is approximately 13% of our budget. The Governor recommended a 5% reduction, to 95% of our appropriation. The House voted a reduction to 55%. Yesterday the Senate Finance Committee also recommended 55% with some additional amendments. That recommendation will go to the full Senate for discussion next week, and then the House and Senate must agree in Committee of Conference, after a new set of budget projections. The process will continue for some weeks, likely until the end of June.
We have a way for you to follow some of the materials about legislative and budget updates in these upcoming weeks even if you are not on campus. A special section on plymouth.edu, 2011 PSU Budget and Legislative Update, contains a timeline of the legislative budget process, a chronicle of the key communication with our legislators, a general overview of the Plymouth State budget, the impact of the legislative proposals, and more.
The communication between USNH and the legislature is ongoing. Over 40 businesses and individuals around the state paid for a full-page ad urging support for USNH that appeared across the state, and we are grateful for their commitment. I hope you’ll take a look at the ad and think to thank our community and business partners.
Despite all of these issues, we have had a joyous end-of-the-year filled with events to make us proud, with student presentations, honors, and awards. The commencements were wonderful. Special thanks are due to those who helped with the ceremonies and put the rain plan into effect so successfully on Saturday morning.
As we draw to the end of this academic year, I want to thank each of you on our students’ behalf for all that you do to help PSU students succeed. It is an honor to work with you.
Sara Jayne Steen