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BHSU to get $500,000 bump

PIERRE -- The Legislature's interim committee on appropriations granted approval Tuesday for the Board of Regents to shift $500,000 to Black Hills State University on a permanent basis because the school is under-funded in comparison to the five other state universities.

Several legislators questioned why the matter wasn't handled as part of the 2012 legislative session that concluded in March.

The transfer requires $100,000 apiece to be shifted from the base budgets for Northern State University, Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Regents Executive Director Jack Warner said 0.45 percent of general revenue in the university system would shift in this plan.

"To take money away is never a popular or good choice on our part," Warner said. He described it as a "modest" base funding realignment.

Sen. Corey Brown, RGettysburg, emphasized the realignment would be permanent and wondered why the decision wasn't brought to appropriations members during the legislative session. Brown is the appropriations panel's chairman.

Warner said the regents took action after receiving a definitive allocation of resources from the Legislature for the 2013 budget year that starts July 1.

Rep. Dan Dryden, R-Rapid City, asked why additional money is taken from SDSU when SDSU is also shown to be under-funded.

Warner said the new differential system for tuition is another tool being used by the regents. USD, SDSU and School of Mines will charge higher tuition rates than Northern State, Dakota State and BHSU.