As Congress begins the 2017 appropriations process, University of California President Janet Napolitano is asking California’s congressional delegation to support strong and sustained funding of federal student aid programs, full funding for basic and applied research and investment in multi-agency research initiatives.

In a Feb. 24 letter to the California delegation, Napolitano outlined the university’s federal fiscal year 2017 appropriations priorities, and urged their support.

“Congressional support for UC’s priorities will ensure that the university remains accessible to all eligible students, regardless of income; provides access to quality health care services and medical education through our academic medical centers; and, supports research to pursue the scientific and technological breakthroughs that keep our state and the nation at the forefront of innovation and economic development,” wrote Napolitano.

UC receives approximately $8.5 billion in federal funding, including nearly $3 billion in federal research funds, $1.6 billion in federal student financial aid, and $2.8 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments.

Many years of budget challenges, known as sequestration, have led to cuts in key programs to the university, specifically nondefense discretionary programs in research and education. However, the recent enactment of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 provides critical sequestration relief through fiscal year 2017.

In her letter, Napolitano also called for sustained funding for the Pell Grant Program as well as the restoration of year-round Pell Grants; full funding for basic and applied research, especially at the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy; and, an emphasis on funding for multi-agency research initiatives, such as BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies), Precision Medicine and clean energy.

“The programs and initiatives highlighted in the university’s appropriations priorities serve as the foundation for many of UC’s federal advocacy efforts,” said Associate Vice President of Federal Governmental Relations Gary Falle. “Over the next several months the Office of Federal Governmental Relations will work in coordination with our campus and lab colleagues to engage the California delegation through meetings, briefings and events in order to advocate for the highest possible funding for these critically important programs.”

UC’s federal appropriations priorities detail the federal programs that are of significant importance to the university and its mission of education, research, health care and public service. It also includes recommendations for funding of programs at several important agencies that UC partners with on research, education and health care, including the Departments of Education, Energy, Defense, Agriculture, Homeland Security and Interior, as well as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and others.

The University of California's Office of Federal Governmental Relations is located at the UC Washington Center in Washington, D.C. As the largest public research institution in the world, the University engages in numerous partnerships with federal education, health care and research agencies. Working with Congress, the administration, federal agencies and national organizations, the office advocates for the University and its missions in education, research health care and public service.