The Senate passed SB2003 to fund the colleges. It was a massive bill, which Senator Joe Miller (R-Park River) called “enormous and excessive,” that includes a 12% increase in on-going spending on the universities and a 324% increase in building funds.
Senator Ralph Kilzer objected especially to the building projects. “That really bothers me to think that we’re going to increase spending for buildings on our colleges by 324%,” he said. “You heard me the other day stand on this floor and talk about the 9% decrease we get in production revenues coming back to our [western North Dakota] districts for infrastructure. How do you justify that? How do you justify building buildings when we need to build roads?”
Here’s the video:
Total spending on higher education is on track to be near the 38.7% increase Governor Jack Dalrymple put in his budget. If we hit that mark, we’ll have seen a roughly 150% increase in higher ed spending since the 2003-05 biennium, over just a 8.7% increase in enrollment.
Update: The House has also passed SB2003 and SB2200, the higher ed budgets, so they’re going to the governor. Another bonanaza year for higher ed, courtesy of the taxpayers.