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Optimism responses building
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After our appeal for your help in writing the “10 Reasons to be Optimistic about 2011” column, we have received a number of responses. But still we have not accumulated a total of 10 reasons the entire state can be optimistic about 2011. So if you have not responded and are thinking about it, please let us hear from you.  
This week we continue our look at the agency budget requests.

University System of Georgia request
In the FY2011 general budget, the University System of Georgia received an appropriation of $5.4 billion. Of these funds 37 percent, or $1.9 billion, were state general funds, 63 percent, or $3.3 billion, were agency funds (mainly tuition) and less than 1 percent, or $23,186,142, were federal funds. Approximately $4.78 billion, or 90 percent, of USG’s total appropriation went to the teaching program in the “A” budget, which provides funds directly to the 35 institutions of the University System as directed by the teaching formula. The “B” budget covers special
organized functions funded on a line item basis such as the Extension Service and 4-H.
For FY2012, the USG requested a $181.9 million increase in their budget request. This requested increase is for the following:
• Enrollment increase— $145.3 million
In order to account for a projected 7.8 percent increase in credit hours due to high enrollment, the USG is asking for $145.3 million to account for enrollment increases. This is a $38.7 million, or 36 percent, increase from the FY10 request.
• Maintenance and operations—$8.7 million
These funds are used for utilities, custodial services and building maintenance due to increased enrollment.
• Fringes for new retirees—$4.9 million
Additional funds are required for the projected 1,042 retirees in FY12 for the employer share of health and life insurance premiums. 
• Health insurance increase—$19.9 million
For plan year 2011, additional funds are required for increases in the employer share of health insurance premiums for University System employees (including their “B” Units).
• Medical education expansion—$1.7 million
A key initiative of the Board of Regents, $16 million was invested in FY11 for medical education expansion in the state. The FY12 request for will double enrollment at the medical school in Athens and create clinical capacity for third and fourth year students by establishing a clinical campus in Rome.
• Formula for public libraries—$125,000
A formula increase for public libraries in the state.
• Maintenance and operations for resident instruction PPV projects—$1.3 million
Increased funding requested for M&O costs associated with the additional square footage of building space in Resident Instruction Public/Private Venture projects.
In order to achieve the required 6 percent, 8 percent and 10 percent reduction plans, which account for $115 million, $154 million and $192 million respectively, each institution in the University System prepared an individual plan to meet reduction targets. Proposed strategies utilized by the institutions to meet the targets include using carry-forward tuition funds, reducing personnel and operations, delaying expansion of academic programs, and deferring campus maintenance. Please note that the 10 percent reduction is approximately the same amount as the growth requested.

Next week – Revenues for November and projections

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