Current as of August 13, 2009
State Budget and Control Board members today signaled that state agencies will face an across-the-board cut of at least 4 percent, and possibly as much as 5 percent, in mid-September.
At Winthrop, such a further reduction to an appropriation that already as been reduced by 26 percent over the past 13 months would be a matter of somewhere between $700,000 and $900,000.
Senator Hugh Leatherman, who is a board member as well as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, indicated he wants to see fresh revenue collection reports and Board of Economic Advisers projections, then his staff will work with BCB staff and various agencies over the next few weeks to determine an exact amount of the cut.
Budget officials already know there is a state tax revenue shortfall of at least $200 million so far in this fiscal year, which began July 1. That comes on top of last fiscal year’s state shortfall of more than $1 billion.
As indicated to you previously, Winthrop anticipated this further decline in state revenue, and developed its FY 09-10 spending plan with that in mind, so we are prepared to meet and absorb this level of reduction by staying with our existing plan. Additional cuts arising later in the year would have to be dealt with separately, depending on their depth and timing.
There are some positive signals of leveling in the economy overall, though in South Carolina, unemployment continues to be the major concern. Those trends will be taken into account by state economic advisers as they meet over the next few weeks as well.
Please know Winthrop continues to monitor all aspects of this situation, and will keep you posted as warranted. Meanwhile, it is an exciting time as we prepare for several thousand students to arrive on campus over the next few days. Many thanks for all you are doing to prepare for our new academic year, and I look forward to seeing you at Opening Address next week.