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CEU budget lower than anticipated by officials

Sun Advocate publisher

The anticipated budget cuts that were to come out of the legislature for the College of Eastern Utah materialized as the session wore on and the college is looking at some cuts this year and well as next.

The cuts generated by the state in September of last year and given final approval during the early days of the legislature concerning the current year left the school with a budget just under 7.5 percent less than expected for the 2008-2009 school year. And next year appears to be worse.

Overall the state schools had a total of $821 million to work with in 2008. This year it dropped to a little over $757 million and for the 2009-2010 fiscal year the total budget for the states institutions of higher learning will be just under $694 million.

While Utah State had to furlough most employees during last weeks spring break to save money (about $3.5 million) so far this year CEU has been able to control the costs through cutting in other ways. The original appropriation for the school for 2009 was $19,081,300. But when all was said and done the school only got $17,654,100 this year.

As for 2010 the starting base for the budget was $16,393,000, but the budget cuts that have already been decided on will take away a lot of cash. In actuality the budget will end up being $15,300,200. However, as analysts cautioned, further cuts could take place if the economy in the state continues to slide and tax revenues go down.

The cut could have been worse had it not been for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that was recently passed by Congress which gave the state some one time money. CEU was allocated $1.5 million toward its budget from that money which totaled $561 million to the state of Utah.

During the session the college also lost a large amount of funding for the Western Energy Training Center when Senate Bill 67 passed the Senate but did not get out of the House Rules Committee to be voted on by the House.

All schools in the system of higher education also lost money for large repair projects concerning buildings and structures. The $55.6 million that was spread out amongst the states schools is only a third of what was originally expected.

The legislature used a lot of one time money to shore up the budgets of the schools and other state departments, but for next year some of that won't be there if there are further problems. The state legislature did however not touch the over $300 million dollars they have in their so-called "rainy day fund."

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