January 8 marked the beginning of the 2014 General Assembly session. Terry McAuliffe, the first gubernatorial candidate to visit all 23 of Virginia’s community colleges during his campaign, will be inaugurated as Virginia’s 72nd governor on Saturday, Jan. 11.
Because the introduced budget did not include funding for all of the priorities of the VCCS, budget amendments are being prepared so that all of the initiatives can be considered by the General Assembly’s money committees in the upcoming weeks.
These amendments include:
- A House and Senate amendment for certain VCCS projects to move to construction phase funding;
- House and Senate amendments for specific college projects to initiate detailed planning services;
- A House and Senate amendment which strikes the language relating to the non-state funding that community colleges must currently obtain for sitework costs for capital projects;
- House and Senate amendments for the establishment and funding of the $7.5 million Workforce Development Incentive Fund; and
- Senate amendments to support converting the Two-Year Transfer grant into a partnership program between community colleges and four-year institutions that would hold constant mandatory tuition and fees at the community college rate for the student’s third and fourth years at a four-year college or university.
From now until mid-February, community college students from across Virginia will travel to Richmond to experience a day in the General Assembly, bringing their diverse backgrounds, challenges, and successes with them. Students from Rappahannock Community College and Piedmont Virginia Community College paid visits to their legislators yesterday. Pictures, stories, and other notes from these and future students visits will be highlighted on the VCCS Blog.
A preliminary list of bills of interest to Virginia’s Community Colleges and public higher education is also part of the VCCS Blog at Legislative Tracking.
So far, 1103 House bills, 573 Senate bills, and scores of resolutions have been introduced and hundreds more will be introduced in the upcoming days. I will keep you updated as bills of interest to us are scheduled for subcommittee or committee action. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, and have a great weekend!