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There was some good news from Richmond recently for the state's colleges and universities, but it wasn't all good.

The good news from the governor's office Thursday was that the schools won't have to lay off employees to help finance the car tax reduction, and on Friday college presidents learned from the secretary of education that the previously imposed freezes on operating funds have been removed.

But other important issues, such as money for building construction and employee raises, are still in budget limbo.

"The message from the governor's office is that we won't have any operating budget cuts, but as it now stands there is still no money for capital projects or salary increases," President James V. Koch said.

The president said he would let the campus community know more about how the new budget will impact Old Dominion once he learns more.

"The governor's announcement that there will be no operating budget cuts means that we will be dealing with a budget for next year that is virtually the same as this year," Koch noted. "Having the cuts removed is good news, it still does not give us any more money, and with utility costs on the rise, Old Dominion will have to do less of some things in the coming fiscal year."

Koch said it is possible that Gov. Gilmore could call a special session of the General Assembly to discuss salary increases if he is able to locate additional funds.

This article was posted on: March 9, 2001

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