SECTION 1. Chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the follow section:-
Section 15A. It is the intention of the general court to assure fair and adequate funding for the commonwealth’s public institutions of higher education by assuring that the appropriation to fund such institutions equals the level of funding in effect in fiscal year 2001, adjusted for inflation, and maintained, at a minimum, at that level thereafter. Effective in fiscal year 2020, the annual budget request for the public institutions of higher education shall be determined by the council and the secretary in accordance with this section for the University of Massachusetts, the state university system, the community college system, and needs-based financial assistance administered by the council under section 9B. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the council shall establish a 5-year schedule, beginning in fiscal year 2020, to restore the level of funding of public institutions of higher education and needs based financial assistance developed under section 15B to no less than the total per student appropriation for fiscal year 2001, adjusted for inflation to the current fiscal year using the consumer price index for all urban consumers, U.S. city average, as determined by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the budget request to the secretary of administration and finance for the system of institutions of public higher education and needs-based financial assistance developed under section 15B shall be not less than the amount determined by said schedule, and, in fiscal year 2024 and following, shall not be less than the total per-student appropriation for fiscal year 2001 as so adjusted for inflation. The council shall submit its annual budget request to the secretary of administration and finance, the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on higher education.
SECTION 2. Notwithstanding section 7H of chapter 29 or any other general or special law to the contrary, the governor shall submit to the general court annually a request for an appropriation that complies with the funding requirements of section 15A of chapter 15A. Said appropriation request shall not propose any direct or indirect reductions in any other state appropriation including, but not limited to, collective bargaining agreements pursuant to chapter 150E of the General Laws, and scholarships and need-based financial assistance authorized by chapter 15A of the General Laws.
SECTION 3. In fiscal years 2020 through 2024, no tuition or fees shall increase for students enrolled at public institution of higher education in any fiscal year where the appropriation for public institutions of higher education is at least the amount requested by the council as provided in section 15A of chapter 15A of the General Laws.
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