July 10-11, 2003
ITEM 120-104-R0703 Establishment of Montana Resident Student Tuition Relief Funds and Designation of Revenue Directed by State Government to Higher Education as a Result of Section 601 of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 for Purposes of Resident Student Tuition Relief
THAT: The Board of Regents of Higher Education directs the campuses of the Montana University System to establish Montana Resident Tuition Relief Funds in the designated subfund. The Board hereby specifically designates for tuition relief for Montana resident students in Fiscal Years 2004, 2005, and 2006, any federal revenue directed by state government to higher education as a result of Section 601 of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Any federal funds received for this purpose shall be distributed equally over three years as a tuition credit for resident students. Part-time resident students are eligible for tuition relief but shall receive a prorated tuition credit based upon semester credit hours enrolled. Resident students that are having their resident tuition waived shall not be eligible to receive a tuition credit under this program.
EXPLANATION: Section 601 of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 provides funds for the states based upon population. These funds must be used to provide essential government services or cover the costs of federal intergovernmental mandates to the extent that the federal government has not already provided funds to cover the costs of the mandate. Further, a state may use the funds only for the types of expenditures permitted under the most recently approved budget for the state. Direction by the Board for the campuses to establish these Resident Student Tuition Relief Funds in the designated subfund is required for the establishment of appropriations at each campus to expend these funds should the executive decide to allocate funds for this purpose. This authorization will not increase campus current unrestricted budgets but will allow for the one-time use of these funds in a manner that benefits resident students, does not obligate future legislatures, and does not increase state or university spending in future biennia.