Higher Ed Budget Threatens to Withhold $41M from University of Michigan

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The state House Committee on Appropriations approved a proposal Tuesday that would add $31.4 million to Michigan's higher education budget, but possibly penalize the University of Michigan for its recent labor agreements.

The budget was passed Tuesday morning in a 19-10 vote in Lansing. It now awaits appraisal by the whole House when representatives vote on the state's fiscal 2014 budget later this spring.

The bill ties the 2.2 percent higher education funding increase to performance formulas. It threatens to withhold 15 percent of a school's base funding if it negotiated new union contracts prior to late-March enactment of right-to-work and did not achieve a 10-percent cost savings in those contracts.

During the Tuesday meeting Kyle Jen, deputy director of the House Fiscal Agency, told lawmakers that Wayne State University and UM's three campuses—the schools with contracts that reportedly violate the stipulation—are at risk of losing a combined $74 million, $41 million of which would fall on the Ann Arbor campus.

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