Under Gov. Ned Lamont's proposed budget, baseline operating aid for the regional state universities and community colleges increases under the governor’s plan from $693 million in the current biennium to $755 million for the next two fiscal years.

But once temporary aid is considered, overall assistance for the regional universities and community colleges falls over the same period from $1.04 billion to $923 million.

The budget does include $15 million to continue the state’s debt-free community college program for another two fiscal years.

Representatives from UConn and the state university system told the administration they would need to retain that temporary funding and also receive more money to help them cover the big raises Lamont negotiated last spring for most state employees.

Lamont negotiated a four-year package of raises that included $3,500 in bonuses last spring and summer for about 46,000 unionized state employees. Each year includes a 2.5% general wage increase, as well as a step hike for all but the most senior workers. 

Read more: Lamont to colleges: Adjust to life without federal pandemic aid