The legislative session started on Monday, January 10.
Governor Reynolds released her budget recommendation for the next fiscal year this week. It included a $5.4 million (2.5%) increase for community college state general aid, and the same level of funding for the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Program as has existed since 2013.
Due to inflationary pressures and the need to provide competitive salary and benefit packages for employees while keeping the cost of tuition and fees down, the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees is requesting a $15 million increase over last year. Additionally, they are requesting a $5 million increase in the Workforce Training and Economic Development program. This fund has not been increased since 2013, and enables colleges the flexibility to meet the immediate workforce development requirements of area businesses. They are requesting level funding for the other elements of the Skilled Worker and Job Creation fund, which provides support to programs like PACE, GAP, Work-based Intermediary, ELL, and HSED.