2011 Institute Legislative Priorities Revealed at Fall Briefing
All eyes were focused toward 2011 on Saturday as the Office of Government and Community Relations convened its annual GT Legislative Network (GTLN) Fall Briefing prior to the GT vs. Duke football game. Over 80 alumni and friends of Georgia Tech attended the event focused on examining the legislative landscape for the next session of the Georgia General Assembly that begins in January.
Attendees heard from speakers on topics ranging from the state of Georgia Tech to the outlook for the state of Georgia as a whole. President G. P. "Bud" Peterson provided the guests with an overview of recent developments at Tech before introducing keynote speaker Debbie Dlugolenski, Director of the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget.
In his remarks, Peterson praised the group for their support of the Institute's advocacy efforts and reiterated the importance of state investments in Georgia Tech. Dlugolenski followed, noting that while budget planners have recently been forced to work within "worst case scenarios," public higher education will continue to be a key area of investment.
A primary focus of the Briefing was the unveiling of the Institute's 2011 legislative priorities that will guide the GTLN's advocacy efforts in the new year. Executive Director of Government and Community Relations, Dene Sheheane, presented the list (graphic at right) which is led by a request for $4.2M in bond funds for construction of the Eco-Commons/Storm Water Relocation Project, an infrastructure improvement effort that will unlock further donor-funded campus construction. Also on the list are requests for increased Formula Funds and Major Repair and Rehabilitation Funds in addition to a call for strengthened support for Tech's "B-Units," the Enterprise Innovation Institute and Georgia Tech Research Institite.
"While the upcoming budget cycle will continue to offer challenges similar to those we have seen in the past two years, we are confident that we can build support among legislators for these priorities," Sheheane said. "The Governor and the General Assembly have long been supportive of Georgia Tech and our GTLN advocates will help us continue to share how the University System is a worthwhile investment even in trying budget times."
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