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What is needed from the Legislature in the FY14-FY15 budget?
In the Governor’s proposed budget for the next two years, he has returned UNCE to a line item and he has provided for an enhancement of $500K for each year of the biennium. Although $500K per year ($1 million for the biennium) is a welcome addition to the budget, it falls short of what is needed to bring UNCE back to a minimal operating level. The cut that UNCE received as part of curricular review was $10 million over the two-year biennium. This enhancement that the Governor has proposed restores only 10% of the massive cut UNCE has taken. Although it can be put to good use, it will not be enough funding to restore all of the remaining positions to full time. UNCE has “soft funds” that are subsidizing the current year budget. Those funds will go away on July 1, 2013 and the full effect of the cuts will be felt. Even with an increase of $500K per year, it will not be enough to restore all of the remaining positions to full time.
The Governor has provided a strong base for UNCE as we enter the Legislative Session. Legislators, especially those serving on finance committees, have the opportunity to build on the Governor’s budget and increase the enhancement. The finance committees are Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance.
An enhancement level of an additional $2 million per year ($2.5 million per year or $5 million total for the biennium) is needed to put UNCE back on track with positions being restored to full time. It is critical that program supporters and participants contact their Assembly and Senate representative and ask their help to increase the funding enhancement level.
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) is important to Nevadans because it works with citizens to: