By Sarah Mayhew
Arizona Daily Wildcat
PHOENIX _ Legislators yesterday tacked on an amendment, which would give about $2 million to the UA and $2.4 million to NAU for their enrollment-growth plans, to a bill giving money to the ASU-East campus.
House Bill 2366 originally would have authorized the Arizona Board of Regents to take about 600 acres of Williams Air Force Base in Mesa to create a second Arizona State University campus.
The bill also would appropriate about $2.2 million for ASU to cover the purchase and maintenance costs.
But University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University supporters on the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee said they were upset that ASU would be the only state university that would guarantee its enrollment growth plans through statute instead of through the normal budget
"I find it a little troubling that we're running a separate bill for just ASU's concerns," said Rep. John Verkamp, R-Flagstaff.
So Verkamp introduced an amendment that would fund ASU-East plus about $2 million for the UA's plans to buy a portion of the IBM plant east of Tucson and about $2.4 million for NAU's plans to expand their telecommunications
The amendment passed the committee 8-7 and the amended bill passed 11-2.
Now supporters of ASU-East are worried the bill is too packed with "pork-barrel" legislation to make it through the full House. And Speaker of the House Mark Killian, who sponsored the bill, said he is angry and promises it will not become law with the amendment.
"Somewhere it will be rectified," said Killian, R-Mesa, who lives in the district that houses the closed air force
Killian pulled several members of the committee out of the meeting before the bill was heard to try to stop the amendment from being passed.
Regent Rudy Campbell said while the board supports all three packages, tacking the other two onto legislation that ~JUMP~would enable ASU to buy the base puts all of the proposals at risk.
"I was afraid I was going to walk out of here (the meeting) and we weren't going to get it," Campbell said. "After that exercise today we don't know what's going to
A surge of 55,000 students in addition to the 97,000 currently enrolled in all of the state's three universities or a branch campus is expected by the year 2010.
Some members of the committee said they disagreed with funding one school's enrollment growth project outside of the budget process but not the other two.
"My University of Arizona ring that I'm wearing begs me to ask _ Why not the other two universities? Why aren't those two on this same bill?" said Rep. Phillip Hubbard, D-Tucson.
"They (ASU) need the room to expand, and by God, so do the others," he said.
Read Next Article