Takeaway: Our legislation to fix the fringe rate is closer to being finalized.
On Friday, June 30, 2023, the Senate version of the bill, S2747, passed the full Senate by a vote of 36-1. However, its counterpart in the Assembly stalled on Friday, not getting to a final vote. The Assembly bill, A4164, was not voted on at the request of the Governor’s Office, and we were asked to meet with the state Treasury Department on some “technical concerns” they have with the bill. That meeting will happen on July 12, 2023, with union member Principal Investigators in attendance.
In the meantime, a new state budget was approved on Friday, and it includes $70 million for fiscal year 2024 to offset the high fringe rate at public research universities in New Jersey. Rutgers will receive approximately $50 million from these funds. That’s in addition to the nearly $25 million the university is receiving from the state for fiscal year 2023, which just ended.
So here’s what we expect to happen while we work on finalizing the fringe rate legislation:
- $25 million in funds for FY23 should be disbursed directly back to PIs by the university in July in a transparent and equitable manner.
- $50 million in funds for FY24 should result in a federally negotiated fringe rate for the fiscal year of approximately 31%. This will be the fringe rate for federally funded research at Rutgers for the year. If management has not announced this already, look for an update soon.
- Once we work out the concerns of the state Treasury Department, the legislation can have a final Assembly vote and then it will be sent to the Governor to sign into law. The Treasury Department will then work on an accurate rate for Rutgers and the rest of higher education for fiscal year 2025. It may not be this simple, so we’ll need your continued support and activism in helping us get to that final Assembly vote and the Governor’s signature.
We wouldn’t be this close to fixing the fringe rate without your support. Thanks to all of you who sent emails, wrote letters, made phone calls, traveled to Trenton, joined zoom meetings with legislators, and testified at the public hearings. Legislators are still joining as bill sponsors thanks to your work. We’ve lifted this issue up and narrowed it to “technical concerns” that we expect to be addressed in the coming weeks.
Questions, concerns, and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
Todd Wolfson, President
Cathy Monteleone, President