WASHINGTON – Last week, in recognition of Black History Month, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) joined Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) in introducing legislation to overturn an outdated, biased policy and provide 1890s Land-Grant Universities with the same financial flexibility currently enjoyed by their peers. The Carryover Equity Act would fix a provision that prohibits 1890s Land-Grant Universities – all of which are Historically Black Universities – from carrying over more than 20 percent of their equity from one fiscal year to the next. This arbitrary provision limits the ability of these Universities to use their funds as they see fit and notably diverges from policies that govern other similar Department of Agriculture programs.
The legislation would benefit 19 institutions including the Delaware State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Fort Valley State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Central State University, South Carolina State University, Virginia State University, and West Virginia State University.
"I am thrilled to be an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Carryover Equity Act of 2018, introduced last week, which would fix a significant and long-standing discrepancy in the treatment of funding for 1890 Extension Programs," said Senator Coons. "The Cooperative Extension Program at Delaware State University (DSU), Delaware's exceptional 1890 Institution, is known for its focus on research and education relevant to Delaware’s diverse agricultural community, including small-scale farms, beginning farmers, aquaculture, and small ruminants. Ensuring that DSU has the flexibility it needs to support a range of research and education needs strengthens our farm operations and farming communities in Delaware, and I am proud to support this effort."
In addition to Senators Coons, Van Hollen, and Perdue, this bipartisan legislation was introduced by Senators Brown (D-Ohio), Tillis (R-N.C.), Graham (R-S.C.), Kaine (D-Va.), Cardin (D-Md.), and Manchin (D-W.V.).
Text of the bill can be found here.