Statehouse committee approves $11.2 million increase for UNI - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Statehouse committee approves $11.2 million increase for UNI

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

A committee in the Iowa Legislature has approved a $11.2 million increase in UNI's budget for the next fiscal year.

Under the budget approved by the Senate Appropriations committee on Wednesday, state support for UNI's general budget would increase by $8.2 million, an 11 percent increase over last fiscal year. In addition, the UNI-based STEM initiative to improve science, technology, engineering and math education will increase by $3 million to a total of $4.7 million.

Cedar Falls Senator Jeff Danielson says this is the first step in the right direction.  "UNI's situation didn't develop overnight and it won't be fixed overnight."

Senator Danielson says the measure will be considered by the full Senate as early as next week, where he doesn't anticipate any problems.

"I've been getting a lot of positive feedback from legislators who realize UNI has had too many cuts."

Danielson says it will take a multi-year effort to stabilize the revenues at UNI.  He says some of the changes being considered on campus will happen, regardless of whether this funding comes this year, because the budget gap is too large.

"Our challenge in the legislature is to figure out which priorities we want to continue, and we'll be a part of that discussion," he said.

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