published Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Georgia Regents seeking $49 million more next fiscal year

ATLANTA — The Georgia Board of Regents on Wednesday signed off on a $1.93 billion budget request for next fiscal year, which represents a $48.9 million increase over the current year.

The requested 2.6 percent increase now heads to the governor's office for consideration and doesn't include $235.2 million that the board says it needs for facilities within the university system. The board also approved a separate budget requesting facilities funding.

The board is also seeking $3.2 million for more hospital residency slots. Other increases include health insurance, retirement programs and facility operations.

University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby called the budget request conservative, and said it reflects the board's priorities.

"We are committed to our stewardship and accountability for taxpayer dollars and in ensuring more Georgians have access to and can complete college," he said in a news release.

The request includes an adjustment to account for a 2.7 percent decline in enrollment during the last school year, officials said, adding that changes to a federal grant program and increased admissions requirements have factored into the decline.

"However, we believe the Complete College Georgia initiative will have a positive impact on retaining and graduating students in the pipeline," Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs John Brown said in a statement.

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