Current as of June 17, 2010
The South Carolina General Assembly Thursday concluded its consideration of 107 budget vetoes put forth by Governor Sanford. The results are as follows:
- Winthrop’s Small Business Development Center is one of four statewide university SBDCs that share in an allocation of $523,121 that was vetoed by the governor, but those funds will be retained in the spending plan as the result of override votes in both the House and Senate.
- The Arts in Basic Curriculum program hosted by Winthrop receives funding from the S.C. Arts Commission. Funding that supports statewide arts programs were vetoed from the Commission’s budget, but returned after the House and Senate overrode that veto.
- The Commission on Higher Education was the target of a number of line-item vetoes, including one providing $416,336 to support recruitment and retention of minority students statewide. Winthrop will be identifying and notifying seven students who receive some level of assistance from that program that it will not be available for Fall 2010.
Overall, the House sustained 51 vetoes that cut roughly $50 million from the state's nearly $5 billion spending plan, and also agreed to eliminate allocations of $214 million in anticipated federal funds to health and social service agencies, since those funds still need congressional approval in Washington.
A total of 56 other vetoes overridden by the House had to be overridden by the Senate as well for the funds to be retained in the state budget that will take effect July 1. Earlier today, the Senate methodically plowed through those items, overriding the governor by substantial margins in each case.
Legislative leaders have said they will not respond immediately to the $214 million gap created by the House affirmation of the governor’s veto of FMAP (Federal Medical Assistance Percentage) funds, given expectations that the federal government will approve those funds later this summer.
Such action, however, will not change the reduced level of operating support that Winthrop will receive from the state in the year ahead – an additional $3.4 million reduction, while making permanent all other reductions made since Fall 2008. Federal stimulus funds will mitigate that situation somewhat this year, but will expire this time next year, leaving Winthrop with a state operating budget about half of what it was when this decade began.
As indicated to you in April, we will be entering a two-phase “Readiness Winthrop” initiative in the Fall. Phase One will be to adjust our own spending plan to our revenues, once enrollment is known and net tuition revenue can be calculated. The second part of the initiative will be designed to ensure all aspects of Winthrop are ready to meet new realities of the times, with a spending plan to match.
Meanwhile, Winthrop now has the best information it can expect to have regarding state funding levels before tuition must be established for the coming academic year. I will be huddling with the Executive Officers next week to finalize our recommendations to the Board of Trustees, then scheduling time with the Board Executive Committee to act as discussed at the full board meeting last week. We will keep you apprised of those matters as developments warrant.