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The Daily Tar Heel

Senate Budget Spares System From Deep Cut

The proposed budget approves $66 million for enrollment funding and the systemwide tuition increase suggested by the BOG.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Tuesday a state budget that called for budget reductions to most of state government but spared education -- including the UNC system -- from deep cuts.

Lawmakers were forced to make cuts to state government to fill a $2 billion hole in the state budget for the next fiscal year.

The budget is expected to be approved by the full Senate this week.

The legislation will then head to the N.C. House, which will almost certainly make changes to the Senate's proposal.

Senate Appropriations subcommittees unveiled their budgets on June 11, but the process reportedly stalled after some minor disputes between the Senate and the governor's office over the nature of the proposed cuts.

Senate budget leaders made some changes to the budget bill before rolling out a new proposal this week, but the UNC system's budget was left completely unchanged from the previous recommendation.

The Senate budget calls for a 2.4 percent recurring reduction -- a total of $42 million -- from the UNC system's budget.

But the budget also allows UNC-system officials to implement the cut as they see fit.

That cut is significantly below the 5 percent or more cut that many UNC-system officials were anticipating.

The budget also approves an 8 percent in-state and 12 percent out-of-state systemwide tuition increase, which the UNC-system Board of Governors recommended in March.

The budget also provides $66 million in funding for systemwide enrollment growth.

The budget does not include the $14 million for need-based financial aid UNC-system officials were hoping to secure.

"The top priority for the UNC system is access," said Sen. Linda Garrou, D-Forsyth, as she presented the system's budget. "You will see this priority listed throughout the budget."

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