Higher Ed budget increased



Jamieson Greenough

Gov. Rick Snyder presented his proposal for the 2019 state budget on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

This latest budget will allocate $12.6 billion to state schools, as well as support a 2 percent increase in operations of public universities.

This increased total of $29.9 million for universities is meant to provide students “more access to higher education opportunities,” according to a press release by the Governor’s office.

Vice President for Finance and Administration at NMU Gavin Leach said recently in a press release that although this is only the beginning of the state budget cycle, this is encouraging.

“We appreciate the Governor’s commitment to Michigan’s universities and his recognition that they can drive positive change,” Leach said.

NMU President Fritz Erickson, in the same press release, added that the vast majority of Northern’s budget is made of appropriations from the state and tuition.

“Increased state support helps us manage rising operation cost without putting all of the burden on tuition,” Erickson said. “That’s good news for students and their families.”

This years budget also continues to support the Road Funding Package Gov. Snyder signed in 2015. The package directed $1.2 billion to fixing the states road systems. With $150 million of this past years income tax revenue being put into the initiative, the fund is expected to crest $1 billion this year.

The main focus of this proposal is “momentum,” according to Snyder. While the work that has been done is great, Snyder said, there is more to be done.

“The budget I presented is exactly what we need to keep the state moving in a positive direction,” Snyder said in a press release. “We need to ensure that the important work happening here in Michigan keeps accelerating.”