Board action ensures state budget impasse won’t impact SCC students

Friday, June 26, 2015

Two measures approved by the Shoreline Community College Board of Trustees ensure that college operations will continue as a midnight, June 30 deadline to adopt a state budget bears down on state lawmakers.

At their regular meeting on June 24, the board first approved a budget as proposed by President Cheryl Roberts and staff for the fiscal year 2015-16 which starts on July 1. That financial plan includes an operating budget of $41.6 million. The total budget, excluding the capital projected capital expenditures, is $54.9 million.

But, that proposed budget can only be used if lawmakers take action in time.

A second action by the trustees ensures the college will stay open and continue to serve students even if the Legislature fails to meet the state-budget deadline.

The board approved a resolution that allows the college to “proceed with normal operations of the College” using available funds. This “continuing authority” resolution would be in place until the Legislature takes action and a new 2015-16 proposal could be brought to Shoreline’s trustees. That process would need to include time for the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and then Shoreline officials to review and analyze the legislative action.

Before approving the measure, the board accepted an amendment by Trustee Phil Barrett to put the continuing-authority item on every upcoming agenda for review and renewal. Barrett said he’s worried that not only will the Legislature miss the June 30 deadline, the impasse could drag on for months.

“Whatever happens, we are going forward with summer term,” Roberts said. “To not do so is unfair to students. However, we are asking our managers to hold off on major purchases.”

In the absence of an approved state budget, there would be no state funding allocation to the college. About 45 percent of Shoreline’s operating budget comes through that allocation. The rest of the college’s money comes from a combination of tuition, grant and contracts, which along with reserves, would be used to continue operations.

If the Legislature does pass a budget by June 30, Shoreline’s plan approved by the trustees would immediately take effect.


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