Gov. Pete Ricketts signed into law on May 27 a two-year state budget package that will fund core needs of the University of Nebraska system and keep tuition affordable.
The budget — approved by a strong majority of the legislature last week after being advanced by the appropriations committee — funds NU’s request for state dollar increases of 3 percent in 2019-20 and 3.7 percent in 2020-21. Those increases will cover core needs including operations, utilities, and salaries and health insurance.
President Hank Bounds thanked Ricketts for supporting the budget, noting that the governor’s initial recommendation at the outset of the legislative session put the university in its strongest position in recent memory.
“Governor Ricketts has sent a strong message to our 52,000 students, their families and the people of Nebraska about the state’s commitment to affordable, competitive higher education that grows our economy and quality of life,” Bounds said. “This budget will allow the University of Nebraska to keep tuition affordable and help solve our state’s urgent workforce challenges.
“The Board of Regents, chancellors and I thank the governor for his action today, and we look forward to working together to make Nebraska the best place in the country to live, work and raise a family.”
Bounds again thanked the numerous NU students, faculty, staff and supported who have advocated for the university during the legislative session, through testimony, letters, meetings with policymakers and social media. He noted that stories of NU’s work and impact have made a difference as elected leaders weighed their priorities for the state. Information on the university’s impact by legislative district is available online.
With the state budget finalized, NU leadership will begin developing a proposed 2019-20 operating budget to bring to the NU Board of Regents at its June 28 meeting. The board will determine next year’s tuition rates, salary pool and other budget decisions at that time.