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Session Highlights

 Legislative Budget Hearings

 

  • Operating Budget Hearings

On January 27, 2022, Sara Fidler, President of MICUA, testified before the House Education and Economic Development (EED) Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee and on January 31, 2022, Fidler testified before the Senate Education, Business, and Administration (EBA) Subcommittee of the Budget and Taxation Committee regarding the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) Higher Education Overview. Fidler expressed appreciation for past State support of the MICUA institutions through the Sellinger Program, and responded to questions asked by the DLS analysts including: steps taken to assist the transfer student population, particularly during the pandemic; steps taken to address education delivery and access during the spring 2022 semester; and admissions policies, including any plans relating to the usage of standardized tests in the admissions process. Fidler highlighted efforts the MICUA institutions have made to ensure that low-income students are able to access and afford to attend the institution of higher education of their choice. Fidler also urged the Legislature to increase its investment in need-based financial aid. Video recording of the House hearing can be found here and of the Senate hearing, here. MICUA’s written testimony can be found here.

On March 2, 2022, Fidler testified in EED and on March 4, 2022, Fidler testified in EBA regarding the Fiscal 2023 Sellinger Program appropriation. The DLS Maryland Higher Education Commission budget analysis can be found here. Fidler urged full funding of the Sellinger Program and urged the subcommittees to reject the DLS recommendation to restrict $30 million of the Sellinger funding pending a specified report on usage of the increased funds. Fidler reminded the committees that 85%-90% of Sellinger funding is used for financial aid for Maryland residents. The MICUA testimony included information regarding efforts to recruit and retain low-income and diverse students and to increase degree production in various workforce shortage fields. The video recording of the House hearing can be found here and the Senate hearing here. MICUA’s written testimony, including several supporting testimonials from MICUA member institutions, can be found here.

 

  • Capital Budget Hearings

On February 22 and 23, 2022, MICUA, Hood College, McDaniel College, and Stevenson University testified in support with amendments of HB 301/SB 291, the Fiscal 2023 Capital Budget bill. Although the Governor included MICUA in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for $11.3 million, MICUA requested an additional $2 million to be appropriated for the projects at these institutions (total $13.3 million ask). MICUA also requested that the $3.4 million allocation for deferred maintenance funding in the Governor’s Budget be increased to be $13 million. This funding would be used to address ongoing pandemic-related challenges, accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and sustainability and energy efficiency concerns. Nora Demleitner, President of St. John’s College, also offered oral testimony regarding the extreme need for deferred maintenance funding during the House hearing. Video recording of the proceeding in the House can be found here and in the Senate here. The written MICUA testimony, combined with supporting testimony from every MICUA member institution, can be found here. Complete written testimony from the hearing, including testimony from the Department of Budget and Management and DLS, can be found here.

 

Legislative Policy Initiatives

MICUA followed the progress of over 200 bills during the Legislative Session being heard in the House Appropriations Committee, the House Economic Matters Committee, the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. For more information regarding which bills are being tracked by MICUA, see here.

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