The Cavalier Daily
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University submits requests for more funding to state legislature

The University submitted its proposed amendments to Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III's (R) budget to the General Assembly yesterday, requesting almost $118 million in additional funding for the 2000-2002 budget period.

Among the proposed operating expenditures is $25 million for the construction of a new information system and a $5.6 million scientific research fund to recruit "world-class" faculty.

Capital outlay requests include a Health Sciences Center, requiring an estimated $46 million to complete, as well as the construction of a Studio Art building and an additional Arts and Sciences building.

State legislators will consider the amendments as they debate Gilmore's budget proposal, submitted Dec. 17. The committees of both houses will report their budgets Feb. 20.

In Gilmore's budget, the University would receive $609.6 million for FY 2001 and $622 million for 2002, increases of 8.58 and 10.79 percent, respectively.

Nancy Rivers, director of state governmental relations, said the University hoped to win support in the General Assembly for the proposals, but the outcome is unpredictable.

"It's hard to know what to expect," Rivers said.

State Sen. Emily Couric, D-Charlottesville, said the University deserves more money than Gilmore proposed.

"Clearly we need more funding for higher education and especially for the University than is included in the Governor's budget," Couric said.

Although the current legislative session will produce a two-year budget, the struggle over higher education funding may extend beyond the current session, said Larry J. Sabato, government and foreign affairs professor.

"I don't think the budget for higher education will be a done deal until next session," Sabato said.