Posted on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Budget Conferees Are At Work

On February 25, 2016, the House and Senate passed their respective budgets for the 2016-18 biennium (HB 30 and SB 30). The budgets then crossed over to the opposite house, where they were rejected and a conference committee was formed to reconcile the differences between the two sides.  Senate budget conferees are Senators Norment, Hanger, Howell, Saslaw, Ruff, Newman, and Wagner. House budget conferees are Delegates Jones, Cox, Landes, Greason, O’Bannon, and Torian.  Both sides’ preliminary budgets are positive for the VCCS and include funding for priority budget initiatives, compensation adjustments for employees, additional state-supported financial aid, and progress on capital project funding.

Budget conferees have announced that it their goal for the budget to be finished ahead of the March 10 deadline, and that the entire session could wrap up prior to March 12.

Workforce Credentials Legislation almost to the finish line

HB 66 (Byron) was passed on third reading by the Senate yesterday on a 96-2 vote.  SB 576 (Ruff) was on second reading today on the House of Delegates floor calendar and should be reported out early next week.

Amendments made this week have added Richard Bland College to the list of public institutions of higher education that are included in the list of eligible providers of noncredit workforce training programs.  Another adjustment to the bill clarifies that all of these institutions are authorized to offer noncredit workforce training programs under the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program. Funding for the program is still in discussion between the budget conferees of the House and Senate.

The current list of bills of interest can be found here.

edavenport@vccs.edu'

Ellen Davenport

Ellen Davenport is assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations for the VCCS. She works with the Chancellor and Virginia's 23 community college presidents to advance the financial and policy priorities of the VCCS with the Virginia General Assembly and Congress.

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