Biosystems Funding Among Top Tech Legislative Priorities

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As the 2012 legislative session begins this month, Georgia Tech’s Office of Government and Community Relations will be focused on conveying Tech’s legislative priorities to Georgia’s leaders.

“Our number one priority for this year is securing $59 million in bonds to fund the construction of the Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB), which will provide 200,000 square feet of multidisciplinary research space,” said Dene Sheheane, executive director of Government and Community Relations. “It’s a facility that will allow for collaboration across campus and across institutions and help provide a competitive advantage for the state.”

If the General Assembly and Governor Nathan Deal approve the funding, Tech will leverage it with $34 million in private philanthropy to build the EBB, which will likely attract nonstate investment and economic development opportunities to the area.

Sheheane and his colleagues will also advocate for the following initiatives:

  • Secure $102.6 million in new formula funds to be shared by all University System of Georgia (USG) institutions in support of credit hour enrollment growth. “With student populations increasing and no funding increases in 2011, the system needs financial assistance when it comes to these day-to-day operating funds,” Sheheane said.
  • Secure $50 million in major repair and rehabilitation funds to be used by all USG institutions to repair aging facilities. “We need more than $100 million at Tech to cover our deferred maintenance needs, so any funds received would be put toward maintaining safe and operable facilities at Tech,” Sheheane added.
  • Strengthen support for Tech’s “B-Units.” These units include the Enterprise Innovation Institute and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, which both leverage state funds to attract external investment to the state.

Government and Community Relations staff will also be keeping close tabs on ongoing discussions regarding the HOPE Scholarship. 

"As the legislature begins to assess last year's work to save HOPE and future prospects for the scholarship program, we will be at the table to share Tech's perspective," Sheheane said. "It's our goal to ensure that Georgia Tech remains a value for our students."

“Thanks to the focus of President Peterson and his Executive Leadership Team, we have been able to forge great relationships with legislative leaders, and we have already been working over the past few months to share our priorities,” Sheheane said. “The impact of Georgia Tech and our other university system institutions is well known at the Capitol, and we will work to continue sharing this story.”

During the legislative session, the Office of Government and Community Relations also engages external partners in sharing Georgia Tech’s story.  

Members of the Capitol Jackets group, made up of alumni across the state and partners on campus, receive a biweekly newsletter with updates and calls to action. Those interested in the group can click here.

For more information, contact Sheheane.



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