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Budget backs higher ed
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The following bills concerning higher education issues were passed in the 2007 session of the Georgia General Assembly:

• HB 229:  Sets up a graduated reduction of HOPE paid book allowances and fees should lottery proceeds drop 10 percent or more in consecutive years.

• HB 131:  Gives spouses of deceased soldiers six years to apply for HERO scholarships
In the FY 2008 budget – higher education will receive 11.7 percent of all state appropriations, the highest percentage since 2003. Regents funding including state funds and tobacco settlement funds totals $2.9 billion and when added to funds from other sources such as tuition, totals over $5 billion. The per student cost for 2008 is $8,048 based on 231,953 students.

Board of Regents new funding in the FY08 state budget    

• $375,000 for one cotton entomologist, one vector biologist specialist and one turf grass breeder for the College of Agriculture at the University of Georgia

• $75,000 to upgrade facilities at the Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center   

• $90,000 to replace hardware associated with Internet filtering in public libraries to comply with state and federal laws

• $900,000 to the Georgia Public Library System for repairs and renovations to libraries around the state

• $2.8 million to expand the Medical College of Georgia, Medical School capacity

• $10 million to support the new Georgia Gwinnett College

• $180,000 to the Water Policy Planning Center at Albany State University

• $94,500 for membership dues, operating costs and the participation of three additional students in the optometry program at the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

• $10 million for life sciences vaccine research

• $75.5 million for an increase in enrollment and operating expenses within the University System of Georgia.(formula funding)

• $17.5 million cash for major repairs and renovations at Georgia colleges and universities – MR & R in bonds totals $42 million

• $1 million to match private funding for equipment needed to further the partnership between UGA Veterinary School and the Georgia Aquarium

• $500,000 for an eminent scholar endowment at Georgia Southern University


Funding for bonded projects in the Board of Regents totaled $235 million.  Some projects include: new classroom buildings for Savannah State, Fort Valley State, pharmacy school at UGA, and health sciences classroom buildings at Georgia College, West Georgia, Macon State, Kennesaw State and libraries at Gwinnett and North Georgia. Research funds totaling almost $20 million go to the Georgia Research Alliance, smaller “minor” projects under $5 million will go to: Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Southern Polytechnic and Valdosta State, the dining hall at Rock Eagle Center will be completed for $2.65 million.

NOTE:  The governor has not signed the FY08 Budget (HB 95)

Next week: Legislative review of Technical and Adult Education and Student Finance Commission

Visit the Legislature home page at
To view the FY08 budget in its entirety:  - tab - budget reports

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