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Message from Richard D. Gray, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Governor's Recommended Biennial Budget

Below is an analysis of Governor Rell’s budget recommendations as they affect the University of Connecticut for the upcoming FY 2010 and 2011 biennium.

To set the environment under which this budget was created, recent estimates from the Office of Policy and Management and the State Comptroller indicate the state will record budget deficits of $1.1 billion in FY 2009, the current year, and $8 billion over FY 2010 and 2011.

Included in the budget proposal are recommended funding levels for the Storrs-based and Health Center budgets. In addition, significant changes are proposed to the UConn 21st Century capital program and the University’s authority to fill positions.   

Proposed Appropriations

 

FY 2009

FY 2010

 

FY 2011

Storrs & Regionals Request *

$246,601,699

$259,145,633

 

$271,124,178

Approved State Support

$247,839,834

 

 

 

Governor’s Reductions

($8,831,617)

 

 

 

Adjusted Appropriation

$239,008,117

 

 

 

Governor’s Recommended

 

$235,292,115

 

$235,665,254

Variance

 

($23,853,518)

 

($35,458,924)

 

 

 

 

 

* Excludes fringe benefit estimates

The FY09 reductions of $8.8 million plus related fringe benefit support total approximately $12.1 million.  The Governor’s proposed reductions for FY10 and FY11 including fringe benefits total approximately $33.3 million and $49.8 million respectively.  Since we have adjusted the FY09 budget for the $12.1 million reduction, the actual effect of the Governor’s budget is a potential gap in our state current services request of $21.2 million and $37.7 million respectively.

The Governor retained her commitment to the state’s need-based financial aid program, Connecticut Aid to Public College grants, at last year’s historic level for UConn of $9.3 million.

 

 

FY 2009

FY 2010

 

FY 2011

Health Center Request

$101,963,598

$117,269,512

 

$125,130,177

Governor’s Recommended

$101,963,598

$110,700,000

 

$113,100,000

Variance

0

 ($6,569,512)

 

 ($12,030,177)

Adjusted Appropriation

$104,963,000

 

 

 

The Health Center’s current services budget was reduced by $6.6 million and $12.0 million, respectively.  This amount does not include the “fringe benefit differential”, and we are evaluating the effect these substantial reductions will have on programs and operations.  The Health Center continues to operate at a deficit and is requesting a deficiency appropriation for FY 2009.

We had requested that the State be responsible for the cost of the fringe benefit differential of John Dempsey Hospital employees. Unfortunately, the Office of Policy and Management has informed us the $3.6 million in fringe benefit support that was contained in the FY 2009 budget has been eliminated in the proposed biennial budget, resulting in an expected deficiency in this area of approximately $13 million in each year of the upcoming biennium. 

The Governor’s budget proposes funding for Department of Correction-Correctional Managed Health Care program at the Health Center of $102.1 million and $104.5 million for FY 2010 and FY 2011, respectively.  Currently, CMHC operates under a FY 2009 budget that was reduced to $104.2 million. The proposed funding is $13.0 and $15.1 million below the amounts requested for FY 2010 and FY 2011, respectively.  

UCONN 2000/21st Century Program

The Governor has proposed a deferral of UConn 21st Century bonds for FY 2010.  The actual effect of this deferral is unclear. The Office of Policy and Management has indicated that the Governor will not approve the FY 2010 bond authorization of $140.5 million but will enable UConn to add that amount to a future bond authorization.

Hiring Authority

The Governor is also proposing legislation that would require the constituent units of higher education to obtain prior approval from the Office of Policy and Management to fill positions. For more than 15 years the University has had the authority to fill positions as dictated by academic and operational needs.  The proposal to obtain prior approval would make the process more difficult and time consuming, limit our ability to compete for talented faculty and staff, and impair the University’s operating efficiency. 

Please note this is a very preliminary analysis and updates will be likely as we more fully digest the budget in detail.