March 23-29, 2001
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NEWS COLUMN
State funds for new buildings still on hold

Vice president for finance named
New parking rates take effect June 1
Slavic professor's family history comes full circle

City OKs Jefferson Center's free speech wall

U.Va.'s fund-raising campaign tallies $1.43 billion
Washington Post reporter discusses media and medicine
General Faculty Council holding elections online
Hot Links -- Procurement Services
Kilmartin performs 'Crimes Against Nature'
Focusing on women in Iranian film
English faculty to share diverse scholarship
Gov. Jim Gilmore
Stephanie Gross
Gov. Jim Gilmore

State funds for new buildings still on hold

Determined to stay in the driver's seat, Gov. Jim Gilmore announced March 12 at press conferences around the state that he had balanced the budget. While preserving the phase out of the car tax, he left higher education capital projects and salary raises by the wayside for now.

Over the past several weeks, the governor has worked on finding $421 million to make up the shortfall in the current two-year budget after the General Assembly was unable to agree on a package of budget amendments. Gilmore decided not to require operating budget cuts from colleges and universities that he mandated at other agencies, and lifted a statewide hiring freeze imposed shortly after the General Assembly adjourned.

Funding continues to be delayed for U.Va.'s new studio art building ($7.8 million), special collections library ($7 million) and two chiller plants (almost $140,000). Gilmore restored some maintenance projects, including the replacement of the Davis electrical vault, installing sprinklers in the Chemistry Building, making handicapped accessibility modifications, clearing asbestos, and putting almost $3.4 million in the reserve fund.

The state's Department of Planning and Budget has set up an appeals process to review delayed capital projects and decide whether to restore any of them. U.Va. is considering possibilities for what should be appealed, said Nancy Rivers, U.Va.'s director for state governmental relations.

If the governor calls a special session of the legislature, or if two-thirds of the House and Senate agree to convene, they could introduce "narrow" bills that address specific measures such as salary increases. The governor can cut the budget, but he cannot increase state spending without legislative approval.

The governor will save about $72 million from reducing the contribution rate to the Virginia Retirement System, but that does not apply to the optional retirement plan to which most faculty subscribe. Reducing that contribution rate was part of the governor's proposed budget amendments, but was not passed since the General Assembly did not come up with a compromise budget.


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