Archives for December 18, 2014

Federal Budget – one step further forward

Association of Public and Land-grant UniversitiesOur friends at the APLU reported on the FY15 federal budget authorizations.  (Don’t forget that authorizations have to be matched with a separate action called the appropriation so we are not out of the woods for sequestration, changes, or even an outright loggerhead on an appropriations bill.)

“Both the House and Senate have now passed the $1.1 trillion FY2015 “CRomnibus” spending package (HR 83), funding the majority of government through September 2015 and funding the Department of Homeland Security through February via a short term continuing resolution.  The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy in support of the bill and the president is expected to sign the bill before the current continuing resolution expires on Wednesday.
The updated FY2015 APLU Appropriations Priorities Chart and the APLU FY2015 CRomnibus Preliminary Analysis prepared by our Congressional and Governmental Affairs team details the funding levels for federal agencies of importance to public universities.  Although the funding levels in the bill are not as robust as APLU or others in the education and science community would like, in most cases the funding levels are higher than FY2014 levels and we are pleased to finally have certainty in FY2015 appropriations.

A few highlights include:

  • The maximum Pell Grant award is projected to increase by $120 to $5,850;
  • NIH is provided $30.084 billion, which is $150 million above FY2014;
  • NSF is provided $7.344 billion, an increase of around $172 million over FY2014 and about $90M above the President’s Budget Request;
  • USDA’s AFRI received $325 million, an increase of $9 million above last year;
  • The Federal Work Study program will increase by $15 million and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is level funded;
  • And while not funded, the CRomnibus language establishes the RAMI Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a priority for APLU and many public campuses. This program supports the development of regional innovation strategies and allows for competitive grants for activities relating to regional innovation clusters.

The CRomnibus bill text and joint explanatory statement are available on the House Rules Committee website here. Also available are the House Appropriations Committee Majorities summaries by bill, the House Appropriations Democratic Summary of the CRomnibus, and the Senate Appropriations Committee Majority CRomnibus summary. “