'96 budget passed, '97 budget under consideration

Seven months into the fiscal year, the U.S. Congress finally has agreed on a budget for 1996. Now, according to Associate Vice President for Government and Community Affairs Steve Moye, their attention has turned to 1997.

Moye said that there were several area of interest to higher education dealt with in the 1996 budget:

*Istook amendment: Originally written to limit the lobbying activities of non-profit institutions, this amendment would cause an immense duplication of efforts in the type of reporting universities do to the federal government. The good news, said Moye, is that this amendment was stricken from the final budget.

*Student financial aid: "The '96 budget is great news in terms of student financial aid," said Moye. The maximum Pell Grant went up from $2,340 to $2,470, federal work study and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant were funded at the same level as 1995. Moye said that a major stumbling block in this area was that Republicans were pushing for a 40 percent cap on direct lending; that cap was lifted before the final budget passed. Moye said that Emory is not involved in direct lending.

*Research funding: The National Endowment for the Humanities budget passed at the recommended level of $110 million, while the National Science Foundation budget passed at an increase of 3.5 percent from 1995.

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