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Legislative session good for CWC, McFarland says

Mar 3, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Central Wyoming College President Jo Anne McFarland was complimentary of Fremont County's state representatives on their work related to the college during the just-complete session of the Wyoming Legislature.

She thanked them in particular for their success in restoring funding for the Health and Science Center being constructed on campus. Before the legislative session began, she said, laws were being interpreted in a way that prohibited state major maintenance funding for the facility.

"The health and science center, inexplicably, was completely removed from receiving any state major maintenance funding," McFarland said during the recent meeting of the CWC trustees. "That has been returned ... with a lot of help from our local legislators."

Major maintenance money was restored for four other projects at colleges statewide, she added.

McFarland said State Sen. Eli Bebout, R-Riverton protected the health insurance pool for state employees.

Bebout, who served as Senate Appropriations Committee chair during this session, said the group decided to put $1.6 million back in the state's budget to cover health insurance for college employees statewide.

"I had a strong feeling about that," Bebout said last week.

Regarding the overall supplemental budget bill, McFarland was pleased that state aid to colleges was cut by only 6 percent rather than the anticipated 8 percent that many state agencies will undergo.

"That makes a different of just a little under $2 million to the seven community colleges for the upcoming year," McFarland said.

She reminded the board that CWC made "significant" cuts to its budgets preemptively during the current fiscal year, so further reductions will not be necessary as a result of the supplemental budget cut.