The proposed state budget announced Monday by Gov. Jared Polis brought encouraging news for the University of Colorado and other institutions of higher education across the state.
The $35.4 billion budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, presented to the General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee (JBC), reflects an increase of $3 billion, or 9%, over the current fiscal year. It calls for the restoration of state funding for higher education to the FY 2019-20 level.
The governor is recommending that state employee furloughs begun during the pandemic not be continued next year. State employees would receive no pay increases. Tuition increases at colleges and universities would be capped at 3%.
In his budget summary, Polis also emphasized funding for student aid.
“The economic crisis has also underscored the importance of higher education, as those without a four-year college degree are faring worse during the downturn,” Polis wrote. “That's why my budget request protects funding for state funded financial aid ($215.6 million) and restores critical operating funds to our public institutions of higher education ($852.0 million), while seeking to ensure that tuition increases are capped at 3% statewide during this challenging time for Colorado students. But this budget goes beyond protecting the status quo, investing $10 million in innovation and transformation to improve operational efficiency at Colorado colleges and universities as they adapt to the ‘new normal.’”