The two-year budget package advanced last week by the Appropriations Committee passed the first round of legislative debate Wednesday, a key step forward for funding core NU needs and keeping tuition affordable for the 2019-21 biennium.
The budget, which funds the university’s request, passed on a 42-4 vote. It must clear two more rounds of debate before it is sent to Gov. Pete Ricketts for consideration.
NU President Hank Bounds praised senators who voted in support of the forward-thinking budget advanced by the Appropriations Committee. In particular, he credited Chairman John Stinner of Scottsbluff, Vice Chairwoman Kate Bolz of Lincoln, and Committee members for their leadership in making affordable higher education a priority. While the budget does not meet all of NU’s needs, he said, it will maintain the university’s value for Nebraska students and families and help NU turn the corner after a challenging fiscal period.
“This budget is good for the University of Nebraska, it’s good for our state and it’s good for the students we serve,” Bounds said. “I’m grateful to the Appropriations Committee for their commitment to the long-term economic growth and well-being of our state, and I thank the strong majority of senators who have given this prudent budget their initial approval. We look forward to continuing our discussions with policymakers in the weeks ahead.”
The budget funds NU’s request for state appropriation increases of 3% in 2019-20 and 3.7% in 2020-21. Those increases would cover core needs including salaries and health insurance, operations and utilities.
Senators will take up the budget for a second round of debate next week.
Students, faculty, staff and stakeholders interested in learning more about the university’s advocacy efforts can learn more here.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.