How the Utah Legislature Supported the U this Session

%28Photo+by+Chris+Samuels%29

(Photo by Chris Samuels)

By Mary Royal

(Photo by Chris Samuels)
(Photo by Chris Samuels)

Among the bills on Capitol Hill this legislative session were funding proposals to benefit disciplines and buildings at the U.

One of the most widely publicized bills, SB009, suggested $45 million go toward renovations of OSH. The U’s Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs said construction is set to begin in 2016 but will likely require more funding to complete. Money was also set aside for updates on the William Browning Building in Presidents Circle.

Other bills pushed funds to different areas and programs at the U. HB0001 outlined several educational sectors to receive extra money, including the School of Dentistry, the Natural History Museum and the School of Medicine. In addition to the funds set aside for the U, the bill gave to other universities in the state, including Weber State and USU. In total, HB0001 allocated more than $1 billion for operating and budgets for the 2016 fiscal year.

Andrew Christensen, a student in physical therapy, said he is impressed by the outpouring of support for the U during this legislative session.

“Being a public institution, it is nice to see government officials working to help the U improve upon the campus and the programs,” he said. “The thing I was most excited to hear about was that OSH is finally going to be renovated — it’s about time.”

Other financial successes for the U this year include $7.65 million in one-time funding for the Huntsman Cancer Institute phase IV construction project and $1,850,000 for ongoing operations and maintenance of the facility. In addition, the legislature designated $150,000 in one-time funding for the Natural History Museum of Utah, $450,000 in on-going funding for demographic research by the Policy Institute at the U and $10,000 in one-time funding for the U’s Center for Mining Safety and Health Excellence.

Brittany Rickett, a senior in environmental studies, said she looks forward to seeing how the U will continue to grow by using the funding from the 2015 legislative session.

“It seems like almost every area of campus got something that will help them in significant ways,” she said. “The U is so deserving of this funding.”

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@mary_royal

 

Some Highlights for the U from the 2015 Legislative Session:

-$45 million for OSH renovation, one-time

-$33,317,300 for the Gary and Ann Crocker Science Center, one-time; plus $682,700 for operations and maintenance, ongoing

-$7,650,000 for the Huntsman Cancer Insitute phase IV construction project, one-time; plus $1,850,000 for operations and maintenance, ongoing

-$4 million for graduate research programs at the U and USU, ongoing

-$450,000 for demographic research by the Policy Institute at the U, ongoing

-$150,000 for the Natural History Museum of Utah, one-time

-$80,000 for juvenile offender STI testing and treatment done through the College of Nursing, one-time

-$10,000 for the U’s Center for Mining Safety and Heath Excellence, one-time

-Two percent performance-based compensation increase for employees

*Information from Utah State Legislature website: le.utah.gov/~2015/bills/static/HB0001.html