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Arciero Legislation to Fund a Public College and University Endowment Matching Program Included in House Supplemental Budget

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State Rep. James Arciero on Oct. 18 the passage of a House supplemental budget that included language of a bill he filed. The original bill, House Bill 1201: An Act Relative to an Endowment Match program, was filed in cooperation legislation with the University of Massachusetts and other state colleges and universities.

“I believe this funding will have a significant impact on the ability of our state public colleges and universities to raise funds from private sources. It will place our public institutions of higher education on a level playing field in the competition with peer institutions for critical private donations,” said Arciero, who serves as the House Vice-Chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Higher Education.

The endowment match program would provide $20 million in overall matching funds with $10 million slated for the University of Massachusetts, $5 million for state universities and $5 million for community colleges. Each institution would find each of their private donation doubled by a matching allocation from the commonwealth. Such funding could be used by each college or university for scholarship funds, professorships, STEM programming, research positions, arts and humanities activities, increased diversity and inclusion on campuses, early college programs, as well as capital outlay programs. All allocations from raised funds would have to meet the approval of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.

This program seeks to emulate a previous endowment incentive program that was in place from 1997 to 2007 where the commonwealth invested $50 million in state funds. This funding resulted in over $100 million in donations, a two to one return on the state’s original investment.

“Our state’s investment in this program will not only make these improvements, but will service as an incentive in raising these institutions profiles and improve their ability to attract a larger donor base in the future,” said Arciero.

The bill will now go to the state Senate for consideration and ultimately to Governor Charlies Baker for his approval.