Students to advocate for $4.1 million budget increase at Higher Ed Day

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Higher Ed day will be held Thursday, April 4, in Montgomery and offers students a chance to get involved in local politics while advocating for higher state education funding.

Marcus Paramore, the director of government relations for Troy University, encouraged students to go and talk to their local representatives, asking them for equitable funding for Troy.

This year, Governor Kay Ivey has proposed a $4.1 million increase in funding for the Troy University system, according to the Executive Budget Office.

In 2017 and 2018, Troy received $49 million from the state. In 2019, $51.5 million. In 2020, the governor has proposed to give Troy $55.6 million.

In order for Troy to receive those funds, however, the governor’s recommendation must be accepted and passed by the Senate and House of Representatives in the Alabama legislature.

“Some very good years for the (collegiate) institutions have been when the legislators took what the governor decided and said, ‘That part we like. Leave it in (the budget.)’” Paramore said.

Although it is ultimately up to the state legislature, Higher Ed day offers a chance for students to advocate and ask the legislators to uphold the proposed increase in funding.

“It’s a simple message,” said Paramore. “But the members of the legislature like to hear from their constituents.

“We always tell (the students) to ask for more money for Troy, but do it in a very polite and professional manner and just let their voice be heard.”

According to Gus McKenzie, the SGA president, Higher Ed day is important because it can have a direct effect on tuition costs.

Although Troy can only sponsor a certain number of students to go to Montgomery, McKenzie invited students wishing to learn more about the event to contact him or the SGA Office in the Trojan Center.

“If what is proposed in the governor’s budget, the legislature decides that’s what they want to do, and our number’s $55.6 million, we will be happy at Troy,” Paramore said.

According to Paramore, the Senate committee will begin meeting within the next two weeks to begin building a budget to pass in the Senate that will then be sent to be passed in the House of Representatives.

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