Jamrich and U.P. Requests Pulled from Senate Capital Outlay Bill
The Michigan Senate Joint Capital Outlay Committee recently passed a bill to support campus construction and renovation projects. The state provides 75 percent of the required cost, not through taxpayer general-fund money, but through funds from the sale of Michigan bonds.
While all of the state's universities and colleges had projects in the bill, the understanding was that Northern and others that hadn't received funding in recent years were supposed to move to the top of the list (NMU's last capital outlay project was in 2000). There were high hopes of renovating Jamrich Hall, which opened in 1969 and has not been updated since, but the project was unexpectedly yanked from consideration in the Senate version of the bill.
"Before asking for a vote to pass the bill from the committee, Sen. Michelle McManus, chair of the committee, removed all Upper Peninsula projects from the bill," wrote President Les Wong in a letter to alumni from the U.P. and McManus' district. "No explanation was given; she just took all U.P. projects out of the bill. Thankfully, Rep. Mike Lahti, the chair of the House Capital Outlay Committee, immediately took action to pass a House version of the capital outlay bill from his committee and restore all of the Upper Peninsula projects, including Jamrich Hall. Both the House and the Senate will act on this legislation in following the November election."
Wong encouraged alumni to contact McManus to ask why she removed the U.P. projects from the Senate bill.
"Hopefully, come December, I’ll be able to say we’re scheduling the renovation of Jamrich Hall," said Wong.