Expenditure bill moves forward

By EDDIE CELAYA 

Pima Community College and the state’s other community colleges are one step closer to being able to use new baseline data to calculate expenditure limitations.

SB 1322 passed the House Government and Higher Education Committee on March 3 by a vote of 5-2. There were two abstentions.

The bill would allow the colleges to determine Full Time Student Enrollment figures by using a 10-year rolling average, as opposed to estimates currently provided by the colleges and authorized by the state.

The Pima Community College Education Association and the Arizona Community College Coordinating Council back the bill.

The Arizona Tax Research Association, who opposes SB 1322, proposed a competing bill, HB 2126, which was defeated in committee. It would’ve used audited FTSE numbers to determine the colleges’ expenditure limit.

By using a 10-year average, PCC stands to lose less expenditure limit funding than it would using audited FTSE.

“While clearing the House Government and Higher Ed Committee was an important hurdle, now Arizona’s community colleges are in for the real work: securing the votes in the House so the bill will pass,” PCC spokesperson Libby Howell said.

Within the next few weeks, SB 1322 will go before an open session of the House of Representatives. If approved, the bill will then move to the Senate for a final vote.

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