The Idaho House reversed its trend on Friday, adding more than $18 million in new state funding for Idaho's public universities. State spending for higher education declined more than 25 percent amid the economic downturn.
The House voted 58-9 to approve a total higher education budget for Idaho's four-year schools of $446 million—$227 million coming from state funding. Universities had asked for $480 million.
The spending plan for Fiscal Year 2013 includes $2 million for research, as part of Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's much-touted Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission, or IGEM, initiative. The budget also includes a 2 percent salary increase for university employees.
A separate spending package for community colleges, which includes $4.7 million in additional funds, is expected to come before the State Senate early next week.