Topeka The House budget-writing committee Monday approved Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' higher education budget.
The measure essentially keeps funding for post-secondary institutions at current levels for the next fiscal year, but falls short of maintaining the current level of services by $35 million, according to the Kansas Board of Regents.
Under Sebelius' recommendation, state universities will receive $541.8 million for the fiscal year starting July 1. Of that amount, Kansas University and KU Medical Center will receive $230.4 million, about $16 million below the amount needed to maintain current services.
The House Appropriations Committee noted its concern for two recommendations by Sebelius that will affect KU.
Sebelius' proposal to fund the Kansas Medical Loan Program will be insufficient to allow new scholarships in the next year, and the governor's budget proposal also discontinues $1 million from tobacco settlement funds that went to pediatric biomedical research at KU Medical Center.
The committee said that maybe those items can be funded when lawmakers take up the final budget bill at the end of the legislative session.
State Rep. Clark Shultz, R-Lindsborg, chairman of the education subcommittee, said he was impressed with the way that university chiefs were handling tight budgets during the current economic downturn.