By MITCH LIES
SALEM -- The budget for Oregon State University's statewide public services keeps improving.
The Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education on June 10 added $500,000 to the budget, a move that, if approved, will allow the statewides to continue operating at their existing service level.
The budget increases funding for the OSU Extension Service, Experiment Station and Forest Research Laboratory by $6.2 million over the current biennium.
The statewides, as the three programs are known, started the session with a flat budget in the recommended budget of Gov. John Kitzhaber. That budget would have forced the statewides to eliminate several positions.
The Ways and Means co-chairs added funding for the statewides in the budget they released midway through the session, providing the statewides a 5.7 percent increase over their existing general fund support.
The co-chair's increase was still below the 7 percent increase provided the rest of the Oregon University System, but brought the statewides close to their continuing service level budget, according to Jock Mills, governmental relations director for OSU.
Mills said he was "very appreciative" with the actions of the Ways and Means Education Subcommittee.
The $100 million statewides' budget now is in the full Ways and Means Committee.
The budget is contained within the Oregon University System budget.