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February 6, 2008

Governorís Recommended Midterm Adjustments, Biennial Budget FY 2008 and 2009

To:  University of Connecticut Board of Trustees, UConn Health Center Board of Directors, UConn Foundation Board of Directors, UConn Alumni Association Board of Directors,
From: Lorraine M. Aronson, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

We have just received information from the Office of Policy and Management concerning Governor Rellís proposed adjustments for FY 09, the second year of the FY 08 Ė FY 09 biennial budget adopted last June.

I am happy to report that Governor Rell has proposed no changes to the FY 09 budget for either the Storrs-based program or the Health Center. Our numbers hold steady as follows.

  FY 08 FY 09
Storrs $225,134,131 $229,416,160
Health Center $101,074,095 $101,963,598

It is our understanding that, for Storrs, this means that the $1 million in FY 08 funds for faculty hiring remains in the base budget for FY 09, and that the Eminent Faculty Program and the Center for Entrepreneurship remain funded at $2 million each for FY 09. This is good news. We also believe that the long-standing (but not yet allocated) general obligation bond authorization of $8 million for the Law School Library remains intact. There appears to be no change in the status of the Matching Grant program.

For the Health Center, the news is even better. For FY 09, the appropriation remains untouched, meaning that we will receive the second and final tranche of funding ($6.5 million) to fill the Academic Gap. But the Governor has also included in her proposed $101 million FY 08 funding level $10.9 million in deficiency funding, reflecting her recent acknowledgement of the Health Centerís current year shortfall. (This explains the significant jump from the original FY 08 appropriation.) Governor Rellís willingness to deal with this problem so early in the process is much appreciated. The proposed budget for the Department of Correction includes a $6.9 million increase for inmate medical services (which are provided by the Health Centerís Correctional Managed Health Care program). We are cautiously optimistic that the $111.1 million now proposed for FY 09 will be sufficient to meet the needs of the growing prison population, but this will depend upon a host of other decisions to be made by the Governor and General Assembly. One last Health Center note: we believe that there has been no change to last yearís authorization for the State Comptroller to pay up to $3.6 million in fringe benefit costs in FY 09 for John Dempsey Hospital employees.

Finally, in the Department of Higher Education budget, the Governor has proposed a $300,000 loan forgiveness program for Connecticut engineers who work in the state. The budget for the Office of Workforce Development includes funding for a number of activities in the field of nanotechnology, including a proposed $2.5 million for matching grants to UConn and Yale to finance the acquisition of specialized equipment and to create shared use facilities.

Thanks for your attention. Weíll keep you updated as the legislative session progresses.