Higher Ed Update
JACKSONVILLE -- April 16, 2001 --
In a major victory for Higher Education, the Alabama House of Representatives passed the 2001-2002 education budget bill exactly as negotiated by higher education. By maintaining a united front and staying on message with our request for equal treatment, the four-year schools were successful in passage of a budget that gives us 30% of the projected growth above proration in the Education Trust Fund. The House vote restores 3.4% of proration for Higher Ed.
Please thank your House members for recognizing the need to treat Higher Ed fairly in the budget process. This is an important and decisive step forward for us and House members stood tall despite tremendous pressures to cut the universities disproportionately. Your calls, faxes and letters made a difference. Thank you for delivering the Higher Ed message effectively and persuasively.
CONTACT SENATE FINANCE AND TAXATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS NOW
Under the leadership of Senator Hank Sanders, the Senate F&T Committee will now consider the education budget. Please contact the following Committee members today and thank them for their past support, especially during the Special Session. Urge their continued support for Higher Education as they take up the budget.
SUPREME COURT DECISION HELPS OUR CASE WITH THE GOVERNOR
Last Wednesday’s 8-0 decision by the Alabama Supreme Court is a major step forward in treating K-12 and Higher Ed equally in proration cuts. The Court-ordered stay of Judge Tracy McCooey’s second decision regarding proration is an important development in the complex legal issues we are battling aggressively on behalf of our faculty, staff and students.
As you recall, Judge McCooey had sided with the Alabama Association of School Boards and others who want Higher Ed to take a disproportionate proration cut. After their preliminary decision yesterday, the Supreme Court will be considering the full merits of our case.
The Siegelman administration has continued to refer to the Attorney General’s opinion (which was based on the same rationale as that underpinning Judge McCooey’s stayed order) as requiring the Governor to impose larger cuts on Higher Ed than on K-12. With this stay from the Supreme Court, the Governor must treat K-12 and Higher Ed equally in proration. He has stated on several occasions this is his desire and now he has the opportunity to do so.
Please contact Governor Siegelman today. Encourage him to FOLLOW THROUGH on a proration plan that is fair and equitable for all of education. Let him know you are keenly interested in his actions on this critically important issue!
TO GET YOUR MESSAGE TO GOVERNOR DON SIEGELMAN
Governor’s Office: phone 334-242-7100; fax 334-242-0937; letters to Alabama State Capitol 600 Dexter Ave. Montgomery 36130
THANKS TO LEGISLATORS WHO HAVE HELPED IN COURT CASE
Lt. Governor Steve Windom, House Speaker
Seth Hammett, Senate President pro tem
Lowell Barron and Senator Tom Butler provided affidavits in support of our appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court. We appreciate their help and encourage you to thank them.
For a copy of this newsletter click this link: www.uasystem.ua.edu/SystemAdmin/sys_relations.htm and then click the Legislative Update April 12, 2001 link.
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