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Legislative Advocacy Archives - 2013

December 2013

“HOKIE DAY 2014” AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Richmond, VA | February 6, 2014

Join Virginia Tech alumni and students on February 6, 2014, for the 16th Annual Hokie Day at the Virginia Capitol. We will gather on the 21st Floor of the SunTrust Building at 8 AM for a light breakfast and remarks from President Charles Steger. Immediately after, we will ascend the hill to meet with legislators and discuss Virginia Tech’s priorities.

If you would like to register to attend the event, please contact Nancy Hagen in the Virginia Tech Richmond Office at 804-786-8110, or email nhagen@vt.edu.  More information on the day’s events and Virginia Tech’s priorities for the upcoming Session will be distributed in the coming weeks.

On December 16, Governor McDonnell released his proposed 2014-2016 biennial budget. The proposal includes over $183 million in increased state funding for higher education, and will continue recent investments made in the 2012-2014 biennium to support the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011, or the Top Jobs of the 21st Century (TJ21) Act.

Over $150 million will support many of the goals found in the Top Jobs Act including base adequacy, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health (STEM-H) degree production, enrollment growth, student financial aid, and various research initiatives.

Approximately $32 million will support workforce development programs and initiatives through the Virginia Community College System, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, the New College, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, the Roanoke Higher Education Center, and the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center.  

Virginia Tech’s proposed appropriation in the instructional division, as outlined in the Governor’s budget, would include $3.44 million for degree growth incentives, and $0.6 million for enrollment growth, for a total of $4.0 million to support objectives of the TJ21 Act. The budget also includes $100,000 each year to support need-based undergraduate financial aid, and $217,000 each year for graduate financial aid. Additionally, the Governor added $1.65 million each year to support neurological and life science research at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in Roanoke.

Virginia Tech’s Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station Division has proposed appropriations of $1.15 million in the first year and $1.17 million in the second year for operating and maintenance support for the Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building I. Because this division relies almost entirely on General Funds, and cannot generate tuition to support budget needs, this additional support from the Commonwealth is vital to the operation of the facility.

To further advance the initiatives of the TJ21 Act, the Governor has once again asked colleges and universities to reallocate significant portions of their Education and General (E&G) General Fund budgets. Under this approach, Virginia Tech is expected to redirect nearly $5.6 million of existing resources over the 2014-2016 budget cycle to support initiatives within the university’s approved Six-Year Plan.

As we look ahead to Hokie Day and the start of Virginia’s General Assembly Session, it is important to remember the role that our alumni can play in Virginia Tech's legislative advocacy. It is a simple fact that legislators react more favorably to our initiatives when they know that people in their home districts also support Virginia Tech. A hand written note, or a simple phone call, to let your representative know that you support sustaining recent investments made in higher education can have a profound effect on our efforts in Richmond.

The Hokie Day goal is for every Delegate and Senator to receive a personal visit from a Virginia Tech alum or student. This is a terrific experience for both alumni and students, and we hope that a record number of alumni will travel to Richmond this year to serve as advocates for Virginia Tech.

We are greatly appreciative of Governor McDonnell's continued commitment to higher education and Virginia Tech. When communicating with legislators, please let them know you support the Governor's higher education priorities and especially those funding initiatives that provide additional direct support to Virginia Tech. With the help of our students and alumni, we hope to make this the best Hokie Day yet!  

Happy Holidays!  

Elizabeth G. Hooper


 

2013 Hokie Legislators

The Virginia House of Delegates:

Del. Edward T. Scott • Del. David L. Bulova
Del. Richard Anderson • Del. Robert D. Orrock, Sr.
Del. James E. Edmunds II • Del. Thomas D. Rust
Del. Johnny S. Joannou

The Senate of Virginia:

Sen. John C. Watkins
Sen. Mark D. Obenshain
Sen. Phil Puckett

Upcoming Dates:

January 8, 2014: Virginia General Assembly Convenes
February 6, 2014: 16th Annual Hokie Day

Questions or Comments… contact:

Elizabeth Hooper
Director of State Government Relations
ehooper@vt.edu

Betty Lee
Regional Alumni Programs & Legislative Advocacy
bettylee@vt.edu

Nancy Hagen
Administrative Staff Assistant
nhagen@vt.edu


January 9, 2013

“HOKIE DAY 2013” AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Richmond, VA | Thursday, January 31, 2013

LEGISLATIVE  UPDATE:  2013 EXECUTIVE  BUDGET AMMENDMENTS AFFECTING VIRGINIA TECH  & HIGHER EDUCATION   

On December 17, 2012, Governor Bob McDonnell announced amendments to the 2012-2014 biennial budget, allocating an additional $31 million to support the goals of the 2011 Higher Education Opportunity Act, or Top Jobs Act of 2011 (TJ21).  Virginia Tech and the higher education community are very grateful for Governor McDonnell’s continued commitment to ensuring access and affordability to Virginia’s two and four-year colleges and universities.

The Governor’s amendments include $972,883 in new money to support Virginia Tech’s cutting edge brain research in Addiction, Autism, Parkinson’s disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and traumatic brain injuries. In addition, the executive amendments propose $1.3 million in new money to support the goals of TJ21 and other initiatives as outlined in Virginia Tech’s strategic plan, $186,087 for student financial aid, and $600,000 to support our unique military activities in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.  

Along with some new funding, the Governor has once again asked colleges and universities to reallocate significant portions of their Education and General (E&G) General Fund budgets to advance the initiatives of the Higher Education Opportunity Act.  This will require Virginia Tech to redirect roughly $6.7 million towards strategic initiatives such as expanding degree production in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health (STEM-H), student advising and degree services, and summer academic opportunities to accelerate degree completion.

In supporting the goals of the Commonwealth, Virginia Tech has enrolled 2,382 more Virginia students since 2003, produced 31% of the Commonwealth’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) degrees in 2011-12, and reached $450 million in research expenditures for fiscal year 2011. Virginia Tech conducts more sponsored research than any other University in the state, by far, and is ranked 41st nationally among ALL schools (our highest ranking ever).

Even with all that good news, for fiscal year 2012-2013 Virginia Tech received incremental General Fund support equal to only 3.0% of the university’s state support, or $3.9 million. This was the lowest percentage increase in appropriations of all 15 four-year institutions.  Obviously, there is still much work to be done to tell the great Virginia Tech story. This is one reason why Hokie Day is such an important advocacy tool.

As we look forward to Hokie Day, it is important to remember the role that individual alumni contacts can play in Virginia Tech's legislative advocacy. It is a simple fact that legislators - even those who are helpful to the University - react more favorably to our initiatives when they know that people in their home districts also support Virginia Tech. This impact cannot be overstated. 

A handwritten note, a timely phone call, or even a simple e-mail sent in the alumnus’s own words can make a world of difference.  At our 15th Annual Hokie Day on January 31, dozens of alumni will assist in our advocacy efforts by visiting with their Members in Richmond. The Hokie Day goal is for every Delegate and Senator to receive a personal visit from a Virginia Tech alumnus or student. This is a terrific experience for both alumni and students, and we hope that a record number of alumni will travel to Richmond this year to advocate for Virginia Tech.

We are greatly appreciative of Governor McDonnell's commitment to higher education and Virginia Tech during these uncertain economic times, but believe we are doing everything within our means to support the goals of the Commonwealth.  When communicating with legislators, please let them know that you support the Governor's higher education priorities and especially those funding initiatives which provide additional direct support to Virginia Tech. To find out who your Senator or Delegate is, visit the Virginia General Assembly’s website at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov.   

We hope that you will be able to join us on January 31, 2013, for this year’s Hokie Day. For more information on the day’s activities, please contact Betty Lee Robertson: (804) 786-8110, or bettylee@vt.edu.


2013 Hokie Legislators
The Virginia House of Delegates:
Del. Anne B. Crockett-Stark | Del. Edward T. Scott
Del. Joe T. May | Del. David L. Bulova
Del. Richard Anderson | Del. Robert D. Orrock Sr.
Del. James E. Edmunds II | Del. Thomas D. Rust
Del. Johnny S. Joannou

The Senate of Virginia:
Sen. John C. Watkins | Sen. Mark D. Obenshain
Sen. Phillip P. Puckett

Upcoming Dates to Remember
January 9, 2013 - 2013 General Assembly Convenes
January 31, 2013 - 15th Annual Hokie Day

Questions or Comments?
Please contact:

Elizabeth Hooper
State Legislative Liaison
ehooper@vt.edu

Betty Lee
Regional Alumni Programs & Legislative Advocacy
bettylee@vt.edu

Nancy Hagen
Administrative Staff Assistant
nhagen@vt.edu

 


January 4, 2013

“HOKIE DAY 2013” AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Richmond, VA | Thursday, January 31, 2013

This is an important year for Virginia Tech’s requests for operating and capital project support. We need Virginia Tech alumni and student representatives to help by coming together in Richmond for the annual “Hokie Day” to visit with legislators. On Thursday, January 31, we will gather for breakfast and a briefing in the SunTrust Bank Building downtown, and then move to the “Hill” to show our strong presence of Hokies. We have invited Governor McDonnell to visit with us for a group photograph. Then we will visit the opening noon sessions of both Houses at the Capitol. After leaving the Capitol, those who wish may pick up a sandwich box lunch at the 3rd floor of the SunTrust building.

Please RSVP to nhagen@vt.edu. If you have specific questions about plans for the day, you may contact Nancy Hagen in Richmond at 804-786-8110, or Betty Lee Robertson at 540-798-7695, or by email at bettylee@vt.edu. Please let us know before January 17th if you can join us.

8 AM
FULL HOT BREAKFAST - SunTrust Bank Building
24th Floor - Executive Dining Room, 919 East Main Street

8:30 AM
OPENING COMMENTS
Tom Tillar - Vice President for Alumni Relations
Jay Poole -  Chairman, Alumni Board Legislative Advocacy Committee

UNIVERSITY PRIORITIES
University President Charles W. Steger
Vice President for Finance Dwight Shelton

BRIEFING and REVIEW OF SCHEDULE
Elizabeth Hooper, State Legislative Liaison

9:15 AM
MEETINGS WITH LEGISLATORS and LEGISLATIVE STAFFS
Walk together to Capitol Hill, General Assembly Building

Late Morning
GROUP PHOTO WITH Governor McDonnell (Tentative)

12 NOON
RECOGNITION of HOKIES
In Senate and House of Delegates opening sessions

12:30 PM
Box lunches available at the SunTrust Bank Building
3rd Floor – 919 East Main Street

HOKIE DAY CONCLUDES

Please plan to join us and help support Virginia Tech’s appropriations requests. RSVP to nhagen@vt.edu if you can attend. Meals are hosted for our alumni volunteers.

Thank you for your help and support,
Tom Tillar
Virginia Tech Alumni Association