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State Budget Process Update

In February, Gov. Snyder recommended an overall 2.5% increase for higher education for FY18. Once run through the formula, that sets up a 2.4% increase for MSU operations. This level of increase means MSU still lags $1.1 million below our 2011 funding level (in raw dollars). MSU has not been made whole from the 15% budget cut we suffered in 2011. The House and Senate Appropriations process has been ongoing but generally moving in a direction to reduce higher education operational funding compared to the governor’s recommendation. The House recently acted to reduce the higher education funding line increase to 1.9% compared to the funding level for the current year while the Senate trimmed the rate of increase to 2.1%. The Governor, House and Senate have all set a tuition cap at 3.8%. This is the most a university could increase tuition next year in order to be eligible for increased funding.

On a positive note, new one-time funding related to agriculture was added by the governor; $2.5 million for the animal agriculture initiative and $1.2 million for an agriculture workforce initiative – fruit and vegetable mobile labs (in partnership with community colleges across the state). In the Senate, these items were also included as well as an additional $1.2 million for programming related to the workforce initiative. In the House, while the governor’s two recommended items were not included, there were amendments that included $1.2 million for the workforce initiative (mobile labs) and two other amendments that provide $3 million for MSU’s permanent fruit and vegetable lab.

MSU also continues to work closely with legislators related to our 2018 capital outlay request. For the second consecutive budget cycle, MSU has submitted our STEM Teaching and Learning facility for consideration for state funds. MSU has experienced a 40% increase in STEM-related curriculum in the last decade. This increase has put a strain on existing STEM related teaching space.

It is expected that final approval by the Legislature on the FY18 state budget will be come in mid-June.


A chart showing difference of disinvestment between 2001-02  and 2012-13

After inflation, the cost of higher education per student at Michigan public universities went up by only $217 (1.8 percent) over 12 years. At MSU, that increase was only $65. As this chart prepared by the House Fiscal Agency clearly shows, the increase in cost for higher education borne by students and families has been driven almost entirely by the dramatic disinvestment by the state.