VCCS leadership “thankful” for the state budget taking shape at Virginia’s special legislative session

Home|Blog|VCCS leadership “thankful” for the state budget taking shape at Virginia’s special legislative session

Editor’s Note: In the ninth week of a special legislative session prompted by the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic, Virginia lawmakers on Friday approved a state budget for the two-year period that began July first. The spending plan is still subject to gubernatorial amendments, but Capitol watchers don’t expect new recommendations from the governor until after Election Day.
With approval now from the House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate, the main architecture of the budget appears to be set, and VCCS leadership says that – by and large – it’s good news for Virginia’s Community Colleges.
The following information is drawn largely from an update provided by Dr. Craig Herndon, VCCS’s senior vice chancellor for administration, finance and technology:

Herndon summarized the spending plan this way: “This version of the budget includes a bonus for employees (contingent upon revenues), some breaks in the cost of healthcare insurance premiums, and some new, one-time funding for Virginia’s Community Colleges.  We’re thankful for all of this.  As we approached the special session of the General Assembly this summer, I personally anticipated a grim budget. If this budget stands, I’ll delight in being wrong.”

Here are the highlights of the budget, focusing on our colleges:

  • The plan maintains the current level of ongoing general funding for VCCS, as was the case in the Governor’s introduced budget;
  • If state revenue projections are met, the new budget provides bonuses for state employees on Sept. 1, 2021: $1,500 for full-time faculty and staff, and $750 for adjunct faculty. The budget is silent on part-time employees.
  • Includes one-time additional funding of $2M for students enrolled in FastForward programs in partnership with the VA Ready program;
  • Includes $15M in one-time funding, in the current fiscal year, for VCCS to support operational and financial needs;
  • Provides a healthcare insurance premium holiday (December 2020); and
  • Reduces by half the projected health insurance premium increases in FY22.

The budget was approved in both the House and Senate.  Technically, the legislature is in recess; the body is not expected to adjourn until after Election Day.

 

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