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Budget shortfall spells no new funding for SVHEC

SoVaNow.com / June 20, 2014
The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston fared better than many state agencies as General Assembly lawmakers squabbled over the budget this session. Yet, with the House and Senate finally agreeing to a two-year budget this week, the SVHEC finds itself on the receiving end of less money than initially thought.

The educational center had been anticipating a boost of $300,000 each fiscal year for the next two years — a number embedded in the proposed budget by outgoing Gov. Bob McDonnell — and appeared to be in line to receive even more with amendments submitted by Senator Frank Ruff for $75,000 in fiscal year 2014-15 and $100,000 in FY16. However, the funding increase was zeroed out in the state budget approved by the House and Senate that arrived on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s desk on Sunday.

According to Delegate James Edmunds, the funding has been removed because the updated two-year budget anticipates a $1.55 billion revenue loss, a result of lower-than-expected tax collections. The news surfaced late in the budget process, prompting lawmakers to strip most increases out of the biennial budget. “There is no new funding because of a shortfall we didn’t expect,” Edmund said.

Patty Nelson, SVHED Chief Financial and Operations Officer, noted the center was anticipating level funding, with neither a decrease or an increase in the offing for its budget.

“Although there are no new funds for Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in the budget submitted to the governor by the General Assembly, I am relieved that there was no reduction in our annual funding,” she said.

Nelson added that all state employees will not be getting a pay raise over the next two years, as lawmakers had previously sought. “The SVHEC staff are excellent employees and I am disappointed for them,” she said.





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