Last week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate overrode all 11 higher education line item reductions that would have slashed nearly $15 million in funding for state universities and community colleges. For the state universities, this translates into an additional $5.5 million in formula funding as well as $1,000,000 for Bridgewater State University, $400,000 for Westfield State University, and $400,000 for Worcester State University that Governor Baker cut. This is a major victory for the state universities, as the funding cuts would have left our public institutions and our students financially vulnerable during a very difficult year.
These overrides were approved in large part to the more than 1,200 people (most associated with the state universities) who sent more than 2,400 emails to representatives and senators. We would like to thank our members and supporters who participated in the Action Network letter campaign and contributed to this major victory. TOGETHER we made a big difference!
We encourage you to take a minute to email your state rep and senator (find them here) and thank them for supporting public higher education by first approving level funding, and then voting to override Governor Baker’s vetoes.
Finally, some more good news about funding for our institutions from the federal government. More than $400 Million has been designated for public higher education in Massachusetts from the COVID-19 Stimulus Aid Bill. Using this link you can find the campus-by-campus breakdown on the funding approved last December by the federal government for our institutions.
Please remember that these veto overrides are for the 2021 fiscal year, which ends on June 30. 2021. The FY 2022 budget process begins this month, and we will continue our advocacy for more higher education along with MTA and other groups.
Our members’ activism is crucial in continuing to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we hope you will join us in our upcoming campaigns.
Irina Seceleanu & Aruna Krishnamurthy,
Organizing and Unity Leaders